In case you couldn't readily tell from our posts and tweets last weekend, this year's National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change was phenomenal. For me, one of the highlights was meeting Jeff and Jeremiah, a newly-engaged couple from Houston who are hoping to win a big illegal gay wedding.
What's this about a wedding, you ask? Well, the ACLU -- one of the main driving forces behind the nationwide push for marriage equality -- is holding a contest to help five same-sex couples living in non-marriage states travel to New York City to get married. The campaign, which is called "My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding," is aimed at highlighting the discriminatory patchwork of state marriage laws in America and showing why it's important for all loving and committed couples to have the freedom to marry.
Couples from around the country are entering, and the top five couples with the most creative wedding idea and the most votes will receive $5,000 for an NYC destination wedding.
Jeff and Jeremiah met on a flight to Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Cheesehead pride!) -- Jeff was flying home and Jeremiah was a flight attendant. (Yeah, I know, adorable right?) Jeff made the first move and gave Jeremiah his number, and the next time Jeremiah's wheels touched down in Wisconsin they went out on their first date. They stayed in touch, their friendship deepened, and they fell in love. After months of doing the long-distance thing, they moved to Houston together for Jeff's new job.
Jeff popped the question to Jeremiah last winter on a vacation to Mexico, and of course, Jeremiah said yes. (Their sweet proposal story and video are after the jump.) They entered the ACLU contest so they could take an epic road trip out to the Big Apple, but more importantly, to draw attention to why marriage equality is so important to them as a couple. Jeff explains:
"I... am particularly concerned since Jeremiah's job in the airline industry requires him to travel across the country and spend significant amounts of time in unfamiliar cities and states. Jeremiah could be understood as a married man in the morning and, after flying to a state where same-sex couples are denied the freedom to marry, be considered a single man by the afternoon. There are so many what-ifs that you have to consider, and to have that burden off of our backs would be amazing. Marriage us means the epitome of a relationship between two people!"
If you'd like to help Jeff and Jeremiah win a big illegal gay wedding from the ACLU, click here to vote for them. To learn more about the contest and about the other fabulous couples competing, click here. Voting goes through Valentine's Day weekend.
And don't forget to watch Jeff and Jeremiah's proposal video after the jump!