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There are 1,138 federal protections and benefits denied to same-sex couples because of a lack of marriage rights. As a result, same-sex couples who have been together for at least one year are invited to join Equality Forum, a global gay rights organization, in Philadelphia on May 2 for a special celebration and rally for same-sex couples. The event will coincide with SundayOUT, the Philadelphia region's largest annual GLBT street festival. The first 1,138 couples to register will be given a rainbow balloon and asked to wear a heart on their shirts with the number of years they have been together. After a 20-minute ceremony the couples will release their balloons as stars for marriage equality. Equality Forum 2004 is taking place in Philadelphia now through May 2. Eighty regional, national, and international organizations are participating in 57 events, with over 40 programs that are free and open to the public. Eight national organizations, including the Freedom to Marry Project and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, will be in Philadelphia to discuss marriage equality for gays and lesbians. This year's featured nation is Canada.