A cop, John Potter, worries about how he will keep the house that belonged to him and his parter, a recently killed police officer played by John Zeiler, as another officer, Richard Weber, fills out paperwork during "515 - The Tour!" at Riverland's Frank W. Bridges Theatre.
A cop, John Potter, worries about how he will keep the house that belonged to him and his parter, a recently killed police officer played by John Zeiler, as another officer, Richard Weber, fills out paperwork during "515 - The Tour!" at Riverland's Frank W. Bridges Theatre.

Archived Story

Marriage debate comes to Austin

Published 11:47am Thursday, April 4, 2013

A longtime LGBT advocacy group showed local residents Wednesday how state laws can impact thousands of same-sex couples and families in Minnesota.

The Project 515 Education Campaign came to Riverland Community College and Christ Episcopal Church in Austin to put on a 45-minute series of vignettes to demonstrate how impactful Minnesota’s 515 state laws concerning rights, benefits and responsibilities in marriages can be.

“This issue affects every area of law, and every area of a person’s life,” said Bryan Gerber, director of the Project 515 Players, a group of actors on tour around the state this year.

Two neighbors, played by Jessica Dougherty and Anna Wakefield, discuss the way Minnesota state law affects same-sex couples during a Wednesday performance of "515 — The Tour!" at Riverland's Frank W. Bridges Theatre.
Two neighbors, played by Jessica Dougherty and Anna Wakefield, discuss the way Minnesota state law affects same-sex couples during a Wednesday performance of “515 — The Tour!” at Riverland’s Frank W. Bridges Theatre.

In its fifth year, Project 515 has advocated for marriage equality by finding ways to engage the audience through real-life situations, like a police officer who died, and whose partner can’t receive a police pension. Or a family whose parents can’t get the same sort of insurance benefits, health coverage, or even end of life care because they can’t be married.

“Why this is coming up now in our history is people are starting to meet these families,” said Eric Jensen, Project 515 spokesperson.

“515 — The Tour” will come to Riverland Community College’s Albert Lea campus at 1 p.m. today, and at the Owatonna campus at 7 p.m.


By using this website’s user-contribution features, including comments, photo galleries, or any other feature, you agree to abide by the terms of use. Please read this agreement in its entirety because it contains useful information that will help you better understand the rules and general "good manners" that are expected when contributing content to this website.

Sign in to Comment | Need help commenting? Click here

Editor's Picks