Esse Blog está no! Coloque o seu também! "GLBTI Weddings PLUS!": January 2007

"GLBTI Weddings PLUS!"

The Blog of the U.S.'s first GLBTI-specific Wedding and Events firm. Discussion spot for clients and visitors to interact with staff and experts, in an informal forum, regarding Gay Weddings or Same-Sex Marriage, LGBT weddings and Traditional weddings and other issues affecting the GLBTI.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Fantastic Well Wishes and Elation for the Brides!!

Cheril N. Clarke, author of the lesbian novels Intimate Chaos and Tainted Destiny, married Monica Bey on January 15, 2007. Clarke has been written about in the lesbian magazine Curve, on the lesbian site, and in Crain’s New York Business newspaper.

They are one of the first New Jersey couples to be taking advantage of that state’s new legalization of civil unions.

“Our ceremony and reception was symbolic---a public display (and party) for our family and friends,” says Clarke.

Clarke and Bey have been a couple for three years. The site of the wedding was the Oheka Castle, a real-live castle in Long Island, New York. In addition to family and friends, many members of the LGBTQ community attended.

Congratulations Ladies!!!!!!!!!!

The couple met at the 29th anniversary event for African Ancestral Lesbians United for Societal Change and soon became friends. The proposal, initiated by Cheril, occurred at Manhattan’s Stonewall Bistro in Spring 2005. But the couple faced some unforeseen challenges before they could get married:... continue?

Editor's Note: Oheka Castle is very familiar to our CEO. It was where he attended school. "It is extremely hard to find a venue and setting more perfect than this, anywhere."

Friday, January 26, 2007 Public Service Announcement

For Women Who Love Women
Leaflet on breast and cervical cancer prevention
The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)

Do women who love women have a greater risk
of developing breast or cervical cancer?

Being lesbian or bisexual does not have a direct influence on the frequency of breast cancer or cervical cancer. However, there are certain risk factors that are unique to women who love women – which explains the importance of informing them of the risks.

Because the problem is particularly unrecognized by the public most concerned, ILGA has decided to disseminate a leaflet in English and Spanish on breast and cervical cancer prevention.

The French and Dutch versions were initially coordinated by ILGA with the Belgian Foundation against Cancer and with the help of Belgian lesbian groups.
Why should you read this brochure?

■ Lesbians and bisexual women fear homophobic reactions, or use contraception less frequently, and therefore are less likely to see medical professionals and often hesitate to talk about their emotional or sexual lives. They are also less likely than other women to undergo screening examinations (mammograms or pap smears) that would allow early detection of possible breast or cervical cancer.

■ Because of social and family pressures, lesbians and bisexual women can sometimes feel depressed and pay less attention to their health.

■ Some studies have shown that lesbians and bisexual women are more reluctant to regularly self-examine their breasts.

■ On average, lesbians and bisexual women are less likely to have children before the age
of 30, which increases the risk of breast cancer.

■ Certain studies indicate that lesbians or bisexual women can occasionally overindulge in alcohol and tobacco. They may also become overweight. This increases the risk of breast cancer or cervical cancer.

Lesbian and bisexual women who do not struggle with these specific risk factors have exactly the same probability of developing cancer as heterosexual women.

Get the leaflet now? (.pdf file)

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

No Jersey hitches in gay hitching
Debbie Woodell, Philadelphia Daily News

DESPITE REPORTS to the contrary, there is no looming crisis for same-sex couples who plan to tie the knot in New Jersey starting next month.

So says Steven Goldstein, head of Garden State Equality, which helped usher in this new era, which officially begins on Feb. 19. "This is the biggest non-story when it comes to gay-rights issues that I've seen in a long time," Goldstein said, adding that he was "mystified" at how this misinformation has snowballed.

Goldstein said that about a dozen mayors, out of 566 statewide, have said they won't perform civil unions because it would violate their Christian values.

Goldstein said it's not entirely a bad thing that those renegade mayors are exposed: "Who would want their relationship sanctified by someone who doesn't like gay people?" The bigger story, he said, is that so many mayors are eager to perform these ceremonies and support civil unions.

Goldstein called the press, particularly the national press, "very out of touch" with New Jersey. "It's as liberal and progressive as a state can be," he said, predicting that the state will revisit this issue and grant full marriage to same-sex couples within the next two years.

No municipality has said it will refuse to issue licenses, the only thing you must get from your...
Two N.J. mayors will stop performing marriages to avoid gay weddings
The mayors of both Millville and Vineland said Monday they will no longer perform marriages of any kind in an effort to avoid the marriage of gay and lesbian couples.

The mayors released a joint statement Monday explaining their positions, so "that both unfortunate misinformation and deliberate distortions of the facts can be eliminated from the public discourse."

The mayors said their decision stems from religious beliefs.

"our refusal to perform these ceremonies is based on each of our individual beliefs, i.e., that marriage is intended to be a union between a man and a woman. At the same time, we recognize alternative lifestyles in our communities, we value the many contributions of those citizens to the community and we give every respect to their civil rights and privileges the same as for all citizens," according to the mayors' statement.
According to the state attorney general, mayors refusing to...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Congratulations to
Susan and Kelli
of Oregon!

These women ejoyed one of our most romantic and unique weddings yet.
"The day could not have been better!" -Susan
These two corporate women are savvy and worldly with very clear concepts and desires for their special day. Susan and Kelli have been nothing but a joy to work with.

Their planner had this to say: "I LOVE serving this couple. Susan and Kelli are great to work for! Their desires are clearly expressed and their minds are open to suggestions too. It's been a total pleasure helping to create a dream wedding for them!"
Some of the treats the ladies enjoyed included a beach ceremony followed by a 3 course, gourmet meal, prepared by a personal chef, aboard a private yacht, at sunset, in the Gulf of Mexico! The florals for this event were incredible too! Of course, we're NOT giving ALL the details but, rest assured, this is a remarkable, intimate, romantic and unforgettable event for these women.

Congratulations Susan and Kelli! Thanks for allowing us to be a part of your amazing day!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King

We at Garden State Equality ask you to take a moment to remember the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, both of blessed memory. They were among the most extraordinary people in the history of our nation. Their leadership provided an eternal template of courage, compassion and effectiveness for social progress, and laid the groundwork for countless other civil rights movements, including that for LGBTI equality. Let us all honor their memory today.

“We shall overcome because the arc of a moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 1968.

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people (and all LGBTI people), and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, (including) by marriage." Mrs. Coretta Scott King, 2004.

Visit Garden State Equality on the web at
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
honors life and legacy of
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”— Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 — Today is the federal holiday honoring the life and legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director,
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“Today we honor and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as Coretta Scott King, who died last January. In their lives, Dr. King and Mrs. King bent the arc of history toward racial and economic justice. In the years following her husband’s murder, Mrs. King became an unwavering supporter for equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and she was a keynote speaker at our own Creating Change Conference in 2000.

“Those who walked beside them have continued their vision, including Mrs. King’s belief in justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. We hold up with gratitude the members of Dr. King’s family and those who fought beside Dr. King while he was alive:

‘Homophobia is hate, and hate has no place in the beloved community.’
Martin Luther King III, August 2003, at the 40th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington
‘When I am asked, “Are gay rights civil rights?” my answer is always, “Of course they are.” Civil rights are positive legal prerogatives –– the right to equal treatment before the law. These rights are shared by all. There is no one in the United States who does not –– or should not — share in these rights.’ Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force 10th Annual Miami Recognition Dinner, November 4, 2006
‘Rather than divide and discriminate, let us come together and create one nation. We are all one people. We all live in the American house. We are all the American family. Let us recognize that the gay people living in our house share the same hopes, troubles, and dreams. It’s time we treated them as equals, as family.’ — Representative John Lewis in the Boston Globe, October 25, 2003
“At the same time, we call upon all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans to recommit ourselves to the Kings’ work of ending racial and economic injustice. That work is far from over; in fact, scant progress has been made in many areas. As reported by the NAACP, in 1958, the typical African-American family had 60 percent as much income as the typical white family; 46 years later in 2005, that figure was — shockingly — just 61 percent. At this slow rate it will take more than 100 years to close the black-white income disparity. Unemployment among African-Americans is more than twice the rate for whites — a greater gap than in 1972. One-third — more than 6 million — of working African-Americans lack health insurance coverage during all or part of the year. Educational opportunities remain vastly unequal, and the progress toward truly integrated schools has not only stalled, but is going backwards. Steps to remedy the legacy of slavery and racism remain under attack on many fronts, including voters in Michigan overwhelmingly approving a ban on affirmative action in November.

“Clearly, we can and must do better. For Dr. King and Mrs. King, for Bayard Rustin, for those in the broader civil rights movement who have stood beside us for so long, and for all of us and our nation, let us renew and redouble our work.”

The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge. The Task Force is a 501(c)(3) corporation incorporated in Washington, D.C. Contributions to the Task Force are tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law. (C) 2005–2006 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. 1325 Massachusetts Ave NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20005. Phone 202.393.5177. Fax 202.393.2241. TTY 202.393.2284.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

'X-Men' Star Weds In Civil Ceremony
Cumming Played Nightcrawler In 'X2'
"X-Men" film star Alan Cumming married illustrator Grant Shaffer in a civil ceremony outside London over the weekend, the actor's spokeswoman, Bianca Bianconi, said Tuesday. "Not only are we so happy to be able to celebrate our love for each other, but also to be able to do it in a country that properly recognizes the rights of same sex couples," Cumming, 41, said in a statement released by Bianconi.

"As residents of America we would have loved to marry there, but we hope that soon the civil rights that we have been afforded in the U.K. will be available to all gay Americans, and we look forward to celebrating not only our marriage, but the end of prejudice."...

Monday, January 08, 2007

Mayor of Plainfield (NJ) has pledged
to perform Civil Unions in her city!

DottieG, Blue Jersey

"This evening during her "State of the City" address, Plainfield Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs announced that she will perform civil unions.
"Our administration is committed to unity and tolerance among all our citizens,"
she said, and added that "as an African-American woman, I know what it is like to be discriminated against."

The Mayor, elected for a four year term of office, is the chief elected official. The Mayor exercises executive powers for the City of Plainfield and is responsible for direct appointments as well as advise and consent appointments of the Executive Cabinet, Corporation Counsel, and members of boards, commissions and committees.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

to Kathleen and Heather
of Ohio!

These women had a marvelous, Key West wedding yesterday!! The photos are being sent in to us in the next day or two! Check back often!

A High-speed catamaran, a fishing charter, a day at the most exclusive spa for Heather and her mom!!! Added to a touching, emotional ceremony on the shores of the Atlantic ocean at sunset, a GORGEOUS cake, family and friends and a mystery guest who showed up to surprise Heather (flown in by Kathleen!!!)... What a phenomenal time!

Congrats, Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Op-Ed: New Jersey Marriage '08 -
Start Your Engines
By Evan Wolfson
(wiki) of Freedom to Marry
Sat Jan 06, 2007 (via BLUE JERSEY )

When Governor Corzine signed New Jersey's civil union bill into law late last year, he kicked off the next and last stage of the work to secure the full measure of protection and dignity that is every family's due, and which civil union fails to deliver. And so we turn now to the months of persuasion and persistence needed to win all committed couples in New Jersey the freedom to marry, shimmering within our reach.

Fortunately, we have a lot on which to build. First, thanks to Lambda Legal's case, the unanimous ruling of the NJ Supreme Court, and the creative and constant public education and outreach by Garden State Equality and its amazing array of gay and non-gay organizations and partners - including, and its series of engaging ads - it's clear that the people of New Jersey are ready to accept an end to the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Had the legislative leaders and the governor stepped forward following the Supreme Court ruling and said that the time is now for full equality, not place-holders, New Jersey would have embraced it (and rapidly come to see, as have the people of Massachusetts, that equality in marriage means families helped and no one hurt; gay couples don't use up all the marriage licenses and there is plenty of marriage to share).

Unfortunately, NJ's political leaders seized on the unsurprising polls that showed that in the immediate aftermath of the decision, a majority was also comfortable with the intermediate step of a parallel, lesser status, and they rushed to that place-holder. Happily, an intense blitz by Garden State Equality, Lambda Legal, and an unprecedented collaboration of movement organizations (the Task Force, HRC, ACLU, MassEquality, and New York's Pride Agenda) and funders made clear to the politicians that those of us committed to equal treatment and full inclusion will not rest until couples have the freedom to marry itself. As a result, Senate President Codey and Assembly Speaker Roberts, along with many other key legislators and leaders, have now acknowledged that marriage itself is the goal, that it is do-able, and that it must be done - soon. Gov. Corzine has already promised to sign a marriage bill into law.

Garden State Equality has called on all who believe in fairness to hold these leaders to their word, and, with the help of all of us, has pledged a massive effort to win the freedom to marry in New Jersey within the next two years.

As the new year dawns, ...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Mass. lawmakers vote on gay marriage
By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press Writer

BOSTON - Lawmakers in Massachusetts, the only state where gay marriage is legal, voted Tuesday to allow a proposed constitutional amendment to move forward that would effectively ban it.

The amendment's backers had collected 170,000 signatures to get a question on the 2008 ballot asking voters to declare marriage in Massachusetts to be between a man and a woman, but they still needed the Legislature's approval in two consecutive sessions.

On Tuesday, 61 lawmakers backed moving the measure forward, compared to 132 opposed. The amendment need 50 votes of support to advance.

Last fall, the Legislature had angered the amendment's backers and Gov. Mitt Romney when it recessed without voting on the amendment. They appealed to the state Supreme Judicial Court, which declined to intervene but chastised lawmakers, saying they had d shirked their constitutional duties by not voting.

Gov.-elect Deval Patrick had urged lawmakers to skip the vote again on Tuesday, calling it a "question of conscience" and saying the amendment process was being used "to consider reinserting discrimination into the constitution."...

Mayor vows to conduct same-sex unions

LAMBERTVILLE - Home to many gay and lesbian couples, Lambertville will be among the first municipalities -- if not the first to offer ceremonies for same-sex couples when New Jersey's new law goes into effect.

Shortly after being sworn in yesterday for a sixth term, Mayor David Del Vecchio announced that he will conduct the civil union ceremonies for gay and lesbian couples.

"The first one will be at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 19, the day the new state law takes effect," said Del Vecchio.

He said he expects to be the first mayor of any community in the Lambertville area to provide the ceremony.

He said the gay and lesbian community has been an integral part of the city of about 4,200 people, "yet the many same-sex couples that call Lambertville home have been unable to enjoy the simple rights that other families take for granted. Thankfully, that will change soon."
Del Vecchio's stance contrasts with the feelings of some mayors who have expressed reservations about presiding over civil unions of gay couples.

Under the law signed by Gov. Jon Corzine Dec. 21, same-sex couples who form civil unions are entitled to all of the rights that married couples have under state law.

New Jersey is the third state, after Vermont and Connecticut, to allow civil unions. Only Massachusetts allows same-sex couples to marry.

Del Vecchio had no qualms announcing his plans to conduct ceremonies during the city's annual reorganization session, where the Democratic mayor formally launched another three-year term.

He said he had gay and lesbian couples ask him in the past to unite them in a civil ceremony but he was not permitted to do so...
Gay-Marriage Showdown Expected On Beacon Hill
Yahoo! News">Yahoo! News/The Boston

A showdown is expected at the Massachusetts Statehouse Tuesday as it's the last chance for gay-marriage opponents to put the issue to the voters as a ballot question.

Said Arline Isaacson of the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus: "Civil rights should never go to the popular vote. That's fundamentally un-American to allow the masses to determine who gets treated equally under the law and who doesn't by a popularity contest." is
blogging the Consitutional Convention/vote already and throughout the day.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Freedom to Marry Week—
February 11-17, 2007

All across the country, from Hawaii to Massachusetts, from California to New Jersey, we have worked together to make significant gains for same sex couples and their families. Our journey is not yet complete, but so far, we've come a mighty long way.

Now, all we need is you.

In honor of the 10th annual observance, Freedom to Marry is sponsoring three special funding opportunities: A Photo contest, a Video contest and special Freedom to Marry Week Mini-Grants for nonprofits.

Click HERE for the latest information on these and other Freedom to Marry Week events, or to let us know about the event you're planning. Together, we'll make this the best Freedom to Marry Week yet.