So I'm doing two things here you've probably never seen me do on this blog before. Maybe one more than the other...
First, I rarely if ever really post exclusively about marriage equality--though I do support it--unless there's like a crucial vote looming. I now consider this a crucial vote. I just think that marriage equality gets covered well on Bilerico by the many great voices who have made it their focus. I don't think I need to add anything, usually, but I am adding something today.
Second, I've never endorsed any sort of brand or contest on this blog. I try to stay out of the popculturey stuff. I never talk about TV or products.
But this is war. The Religious Right has interfered here, and we need to make a statement about our power. I also happen to have totally fallen in love with these two boys (not like threesome love, but... well... follow me over the jump).
You've probably read about or seen status updates about Jon and Greg, the gay couple currently in second place for Crate and Barrel's Ultimate Wedding Contest. I didn't join their Facebook group when first invited, because I get invites to dozens of frivolous groups a day that spam my inbox and I hate it. "100,000,000,000 sapporting gay dislecksick unycornz in Montana High schools, suck it George Bush," and the like. You know what I mean.
A friend (hotly enough, his name is Phil too. I have a bit of a narcisistic streak, and I tend to fawn on attractive guys who share my name, but that's another post) introduced me to Jon and Greg after I'd been invited about 9,000,000 times to events, groups, pages and tagged in links for their effort to win Crate and Barrel's contest.
I'm like "yeah, yeah, yeah." I voted. I closed the window and went to bed. Then I started talking to Greg and Jon every day. These guys are the real deal. They're really passionate about "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, hate crimes, progressive politics and queer liberation.
But what really got me is that they used to be in first place until the Religious Right caught wind and mobilized a force to try to bump them out of the top spot.
Uh-uh. Not on my watch.
I'm a competitive guy, I'm a fiery Mediterranean, and when I feel challenged, I go on the attack. You know that whole "fight or flight" thing your hypothalamus is supposed to do? Yeah, my "flight" part is broken. Call me blood-thirsty, whatever. I want to send them a message.
Hate must not win!
They did not get hordes of other people to vote for the second place heterosexual couple because they thought they were the best, they mobilized their troops to vote against Greg and Jon. That's not right.
Greg and Jon has moved to the top for a reason. They deserved it. Not only are they, by far the most adorable couple in the contest, they also stand for so many great things. They're very vocal leaders and activists, and they aren't just in this to win free stuff (though I'm sure that doesn't hurt) this is about equality and justice. And now its also about showing the Far Right their days of trying to intimidate us queers back into the closet are over.
This is the Stonewall Riots of weddings.
(no offense to our amazing Stonewall veterans, I am in no way equating the two, which is why I used the "of weddings" modifier).
bellow is a note that Jonathan tagged me in this morning that the couple said I could share with you.
With just three days left in the voting, Jonathan Howard and Gregory Jones, a same sex couple, are poised to regain the top spot in Crate and Barrel's Ultimate Wedding Contest. Jonathan and Gregory have the unique opportunity of making a strong social statement by winning the popular vote in this inclusive contest. There are over 5,000 couple entered, with several same sex couples in the top 20 spots. However, Jonathan and Gregory, in second place have over 12,000 votes, over 8000 votes more than third place and they are closing in on the top spot once again.
Jonathan is the survivor of a violent hate crime in Boston, and after his attacker plead guilty to nine counts including civil rights violations but served no jail time. This is when Jonathan realized something needed to be done. With Gregory by his side he started speaking out about hate crime sentencing and many other LGBT issues. After moving to the District of Columbia Jonathan and Gregory joined the fight for marriage equality, and were the 20th same sex couple to apply for their marriage license in the District on March 3. Their picture from that day was even featured in the New York Times.
Gregory and Jonathan entered this contest on a whim back in February, but as the community rallied around them they realized that this was much bigger than just a wedding contest. This became an opportunity to make a huge social statement. An opportunity to be a part of history as the first same sex couple to win a mainstream wedding contest. Once Jonathan and Gregory rose to the top spot in the contest they faced attacks from anti-gay blogs, and others. GLAAD then endorsed Jonathan and Gregory in their blog (http://glaadblog.org/2010/03/01/crate-barrel-holds-inclusive-ultimate-wedding-contest-anti-gay-blogger-attacks/). After the written attacks Jonathan wrote in his blog...
"There is no way that I can drop out of this competition and retreat. I cannot stop being who I am and I need to make a difference. Words are powerful, and so are actions. And just like words of hatred can have power over people, words of hope can have power over people as well. We have the power to change society, we have the power to make a difference."
We all now have the power to make a difference and make a strong statement for marriage equality. It would be great for the community to put these two in the top spot and show the nation that it does not matter if it is two men or two women. It is about love and not gender and Crate and Barrel has the ability to help make this statement.
You really need to vote for these boys. We're in the home stretch. It won't take you any time at all, but you'll be sending a clear message. Also, share it on Facebook and Twitter and ask your friends to vote. Email it out to your most fabulous friends. Just lets help them regain first place. This means a lot. This will be a powerful statement.