Freedom2Wed online voting, open to the public, begins today for the six finalists who have been selected in the first of its kind online wedding competition for same sex couples. Freedom2Wed was conceived by a group of prominent Washington-area wedding vendors in honor of the passage of the DC Marriage Equality Act. The winning couple will receive the wedding of a lifetime, valued at over $100,000.
According to Michael Kress, owner of MBK & Associates and a well-known Washington photographer who led the effort, “Deciding on 6 finalists from so many terrific entries was difficult but we are thrilled by their diversity and enthusiasm. Their video stories are compelling and collectively they emphasize why Same Sex Marriage is a historic marker for civil rights in this country.”
To vote for one of the finalists, go to www.freedom2wed.com. Online votes will be accepted through September 30th at12 midnight.
A Snapshot of the Finalists
Holly Nye & Alyson Ling – together 5 ½ years
“Alyson is my icing. She doesn't make me who I am; she's not the cake. She is secure enough to allow me to be that on my own. But she is the thing that makes me better. My icing.”
Kareem Murphy & DeWayne Davis – together 19 years
“The truth is, we didn't have much more than each other. Our families either didn't understand our relationship or did not approve of it. We're proud to be a part of a church (Metropolitan Community Churches) that has been celebrating same-sex Holy Unions since 1969. It's a great life when you can incorporate all of your life's passions and interest into everything you do.”
Melissa Pisarra & Ana Quinones – together almost 4 years
“Through all of the trials that life has given us, we have survived together. Sharing the love we have with friends and family would mean everything to us."
Robert Heffernan & Richard Cesa – together 10 years
“We’ve both experienced the heavy, hidden burden of being gay and would like to be an example to other gay couples: a gay relationship is an honorable commitment.”
Tonya Agnew & Amy Crampton – together nearly 12 years
“How do we explain to our six year-old son that the State of Indiana won't allow us to legally wed because we are the same sex? Raising a family in the Midwest as a lesbian couple is challenging but regardless, we're visible. While Indiana can regulate our ability to obtain a marriage license, the state can't regulate our love. Our relationship is solid and certain and we can't wait for the day when we can say, "I do."
Darin Henderson & Carl Cox – together 4 years
“We realized early on that while individually imperfect, our strengths complement one another. Couple that with the love we share…we are twice as strong. But at long last, as the direct result of decades of activism and a groundswell of community support, we feel blessed, grateful and are thoroughly excited to be engaged and preparing for marriage.”
In addition to Kress, The Freedom2Wed competition organizers include Kelly Jenkins, Capital Décor and Events; Jodi Moraru, Evoke; and, Steve Dunn, Well Dunn Catering; all of whom served as the first round of judges. The winning couple will be announced October 1st.
The Freedom2Wed winning couple will be married on a designated date. The all-inclusive wedding package includes venue, invitation design and printing, attire, rings, rental equipment, flowers, lighting, live music, videography, a California honeymoon package and more.
The D.C. Council passed the Civil Marriage Equality Act in December 2009, joining five states in legalizing same-sex marriage; the law went into effect on March 3, 2010.
For more information, go to www.freedom2wed.com.