Certified Equally Wed Pro Ready to Serve the LGBTQ+ Community
This week I was certified as an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Wedding Professional through Equally Wed Pro.
The path to equal rights has been long and hard fought, and while marriage equality was granted nationally in 2015, the LGBTQ+ community still faces hardship and discrimination in many facets of life, especially while planning weddings.
To combat this and help couples easily identify businesses which support and understand the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community. Equally Wed founders and spouses Kirsten and Maria Palladino created this course, and I am not only thrilled to be an ambassador, but quite proud to have taken the course and passed my exam with a perfect score.
If you are a long time reader of my blog, then you have seen us celebrate love in all forms, and in all combinations. You may have read about the WIPA Meeting I Moderated called “Weddings are Gay, Or Are They?” the discussion of the nonsense that has taken place when one of my couples attempted to plan their wedding in Mexico. I even wrote a blog entitled “Why I Don’t Plan Gay Weddings” which discussed my belief that love is love is love, and that to segrate out gay couples would be as insane and offensive as it would be to separate inter-racial or inter-faith couples.
And yet here we are, four years later. Still talking, still debating. While I still believe that love is love is love, and while I want with every fiber of my being to not need things like a certificate, I am certainly grateful to have it.
There are no easy answers, and there is no right way or clear path through this issue. As deeply entrenched, committed, and active in the community as I am, even I am conflicted over things we as a society face. I love this community and the culture that has developed over the years. I don’t want gay weddings to become so neutral that they lose their uniqueness. The LGBTQ+ community has such a rich and beautiful history; the love stories, the fight, the struggle. The community has earned the right to embrace tradition or ignore it; to find comfort in the rituals that came before, or to design new ones.
After all, in the words of Justice Kennedy:
“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves.”
I want the LGBTQ+ community to feel special, and to feel like everyone else. And maybe, despite the every changing letters, numberrs, and labels, that;s what the + stands for. All of us, living our lives, celebrating who, and how we love.
PS - If you are a wedding pro interested in getting certifies, please check out www.equallywedpro.com for more information.
And if you would like to leave any words or support to questions about the process, please let me know below!