January 7, 2016
We have come a long way since my first letter in February 2015, and what a year it was for Marriage Equality as the law of the land! But just yesterday the Alabama State Supreme Court issued an (empty) decision to disallow same-sex couples from obtaining marriage licenses, so although we have won the fight legally, the social ramifications still exist.
It is exceedingly important that our Greater Cincinnati community continue to show its support for same-sex couples seeking wedding services. We had a phenomenal event last summer that showcased over 50 local wedding vendors and venues and it's a perfect example of the support and love that is outpouring from our community. It is heartening to know who and where the LGBT community may go knowing their business is welcome. (Check out the video here)
Are the issues gone? Surely not. With the 2016 presidential election close at hand LGBT rights continue to be threatened, but the businesses listed here stand strong. I am so grateful to have worked with so many outstanding individuals this past year, and it is my pleasure to continue to present premiere vendors who will embrace the LGBT community as they plan their big day.
And they are planning! Same-sex weddings in Greater Cincinnati are happening and they are, well, fabulous!
If you are one of those couples, I encourage you to patronize the vendors listed on this site--they believe in you.
If you are a vendor that has joined us, we are thrilled you have opened your doors to use without prejudice.
If you are a vendor that is not listed, I invite you to join us!
We look ahead with joy but with an awareness that many have yet to "join the party".
Trumidio, Inc. / cincygayweddings.com
Open doors open minds.
February 1, 2015
Why this website? Why now?
This is about acceptance. This is about options. This is about providing a resource for our community to come together in a pledge not only of open commerce, but of open minds and open hearts.
In a January 17, 2015 article in the Cincinnati Enquirer entitled 'Tears of joy & sadness': Supreme Court to rule on Gay Marriage, it states the facts as we know them here in the Tri-state.
In November, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals brought to an end the extraordinary winning streak that same-sex marriage advocates had enjoyed since the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013. The act defined marriage as between a man and a woman.
That blow was bittersweet for gay-marriage advocates: While it halted the winning streak, the split it created made it likely that the Supreme Court would finally intervene to determine whether gay-marriage bans violate the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
But the story goes much further. It describes the struggles that one local couple faced while calling the whole issue to question--and that's just one couple.
I would be remiss not to say that I am a minister and a wedding officiant. Do I hope to marry more gay couples? Sure! Is that why I started this. No.
In the past year, I have become aware of discriminatory practices by local businesses as gay men and women plan their weddings. Some officiants won't perform a ceremony based on their beliefs. Some venues will not open their doors for fear they will lose other less tolerant customers. The beliefs, reasons, and intent are irrelevant, but the feelings of discord abound. If this forum can save anyone from feeling ostracized, rejected or minimized then my job is done. If it can make people feel loved, accepted and welcomed, then I am greatly blessed by that gift to our shared heart.
This is not a forum for assessing blame or calling out ignorance. Instead it has been created to allow local businesses, organizations, and individuals to take a stand now.
- Before the United States Supreme Court decision on gay marriage;
- Before it is fiscally prudent to 'get over' any moral dilemma and seek the disposable income of gay men and women;
- Before it's 'cool'.
It cannot be denied that local businesses are profoundly impacted by the wedding 'business' in Greater Cincinnati. Approximately $40 billion is spent annually on over 21 million weddings in the United States, with an average ticket of $27,000 per couple.
In the first year that gay marriage was legal in New York City, the city reaped $259 million in increased revenue thanks to license fees and wedding-related spending. (CNNMoney). The financial benefits to the public and private sector is undeniable, and sooner or later it will become foolish not to embrace same-sex couples.
(While I may use the term "gay wedding" or "gay marriage" this is only to defer to the vernacular for same-sex marriage. It's not a war of words but an advocacy for recognition. Whatever we call it, it's about the right for same-sex couples to be recognized under the laws of the land as equal to anyone who may currently get legally "married" or participate in a "wedding" as ratified by civil ceremony.)
This is a call for our vendors and other impacted businesses (e.g. gay couples, their friends, and family gift, celebrate, eat, drink, lodge and travel) to put their mouth where their money is and sign-up for a public directory of services.
I pray that in June SCOTUS will hand down a decision upholding gay marriage rights. Until then, we make way for good conscience.
Trumidio, Inc. / cincygayweddings.com