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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Ben & Jerry’s honors expanded DC marriage rights

Andreas Vellios (left) and Keith Spangler-Vellios (right) exchange vows in front of Reverend Lance Orndorff at the Ben & Jerry's Georgetown Scoop Shop on Thursday following the legalization of same-sex marriage in the nation's capital last week. (Photo: Stephen J. Boitano, AP)

Now the words “I do” ring true for all couples in Washington, D.C. after the successful, historic signing of the freedom to marry bill last week. To honor the city’s expanded marriage equality, today Ben & Jerry’s celebrates in the District of Columbia with a wedding and reception for Keith Spangler-Vellios and Andreas Vellios at the Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop in Georgetown.
Ben & Jerry’s co-founder, Jerry Greenfield, D.C. council member and sponsor of the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, David Catania, Freedom to Marry Director of New Media, Michael Crawford along with friends and family will gather to celebrate the couple’s vows with a special wedding ice cream cake and ceremonial traditions.
Following the symbolic renaming of Ben & Jerry’s well-known ice cream flavor “Chubby Hubby” to “Hubby Hubby” in September 2009 to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriages in its home state of Vermont, the company continues to demonstrate its commitment to social justice, including gay rights and its partnership with the non-profit Freedom to Marry, the leading campaign to win marriage nationwide.
“Equal rights and treatment for all people was a founding principle of Ben & Jerry’s when we started the company over 30 years ago,” said Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. “We are proud that the District of Columbia is recognizing the rights of gay and lesbian couples to marry and are happy to celebrate the milestone with an ice cream wedding cake and best wishes for the happy couple.”
City Councilmember David Catania will toast the couple and speak about the meaning of marriage equality for the District of Columbia and beyond. To keep the momentum of this movement, Ben & Jerry’s and Freedom to Marry will continue to raise awareness for marriage equality and encourage consumers to take action and urge states to pass similar legislation.
“The issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in America’s capital marks a significant victory for the national movement to secure the freedom to marry, and a great joy for D.C. couples who no longer need to leave home to secure the protections and responsibilities of marriage for their families,” says Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry. “Washington D.C. now joins the five states and eight countries where same-sex couples share in the freedom to marry.”
For more information on same-sex marriage matters and to take action in your state, go to Learn more about Ben & Jerry’s social mission at


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