Houston is one of the more gay friendly cities in America. Even our mayor is gay. But, like any other person who wants to have a same-sex wedding, Mayor Annise Parker had to travel to California because it is illegal in Texas. The Federal Government has even extended benefits to same-sex couples, yet the majority of states in the U.S. still do not allow it.
In order to further highlight the differences between states where same-sex is legal and those where it is not, the American Civil Liberties Union created a contest: "My Big Gay
Illegal Wedding." Contestants enter via the website through February 16 and visitors to the site can vote for each of the couples. The five winners are given $5,000 for their wedding in a state where same-sex marriage is legal.
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Included in their featured couples is Jeff and Jeremiah, a gay couple from right here in Houston. The couple recently relocated here for Jeff's job.
"We met on an airplane. [I] was flying home to Milwaukee, WI, and Jeremiah was the airline attendant on the flight," Jeff said on their website profile. The two would like to do a road trip wedding where they "would stop in cool places for unusual photo ops i.e. Worlds Largest Shoe (there are tons of places like that here in Texas) or take pit stops to check out the local famous/favorite diners, drive-ins or dives."
Though their marriage would not be recognized by the state of Texas, the couple believes strongly in the cause. "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," Jeff said on their profile, describing Jeremiah's flight attendant job. "There are so many what-ifs that you have to consider, and to have that burden off of our backs would be amazing."
The contest ends this weekend. Hopefully, Jeff and Jeremiah will get to say "I do" with a little extra cash in their pockets.