By Kristen Curran
Members of Sanctifying Marriages Of Our Country”s Home dressed in tuxedos and wedding dresses Friday to gather signatures for a petition supporting traditional marriage.
SMOOCH is collaborating with other groups like Unified Families International that support traditional marriage. Similar petitions are being collected in every state and UFI will send them to legislatures across the country in support of President Bush”s proposed amendment to the constitution.
“We need a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between a man and a woman,” said Jennifer Colletti, a member of SMOOCH.
“Brides” and “grooms” held signs and waved at passers-by on 100 East near Brick Oven while “bridesmaids” handed out free wedding cake and played music.
Though many drivers honked in support or pulled over to sign the petition, other people declined to sign the petition.
SMOOCH expects to gather more than 500 signatures, Colletti said.
“The moral stability of our nation depends on the morality of its people,” said Nathan Cramer a BYU student who stopped to sign the petition. “We need this type of legislation to maintain the morality of our nation.”
Several states are struggling with the issue of same-sex marriage. The Utah legislature grappled with the issue during the 2004 legislative session. Voters will decide if an amendment banning same-sex marriage will be added to Utah”s constitution.
SMOOCH was organized about five weeks ago for the specific purpose of supporting traditional marriage.
“Marriage is something we can”t change the definition of,” said Jennifer Low, a member of SMOOCH. “I am willing to fight for it.”
Some students support SMOOCH because they feel strongly about protecting traditional marriage and want an outlet to express their opinions.
“We were concerned about the apathy we say on BYU campus,” said Michelle Knapp, one of the group”s organizers. “General political apathy, but particularly with regard to this [the traditional marriage] issue.”
The group is non-partisan and non-denominational, Knapp said.
Though SMOOCH is a young group, it has garnered attention from some local and federal legislators. SMOOCH is planning more activities as election time draws near, and welcomes student volunteers, Knapp said.