Lesbian couple turned away by Justin chapel to marry Friday at Cathedral of Hope

The Country Abbey in Justin

Earlier we noted that no Valentine’s Day marriage equality demonstration is planned for Dallas this year, so perhaps this is the next best thing.

PR guru and former Dallas Voice staffer Kris Martin sends along word that two local women who were turned away by a private wedding chapel last year for being lesbians plan to tie the knot on Friday in a ceremony at the Cathedral of Hope.

Tina Shaft and Tiffany Fenimore have been together for 10 years and made news in June when they were turned away by the Country Abbey in Justin as well as by other locations, according to Martin. Now, the Cathedral of Hope and community businesses are donating a chapel and services to make the couple’s dream wedding come true.

Christopher Thomas will officiate the wedding on behalf of the Cathedral, and the couple and their three children will sit for “No H8″ campaign photographs following the ceremony.

The ceremony is open to the media and will be at 3 p.m. Friday at the Cathedral’s Interfaith Peace Chapel, 5910 Cedar Springs Road in Dallas.

—  John Wright

Gay Dallas couple legally weds in Texas, aims to bring ‘e-marriage’ to the same-sex masses

Mark Reed, left, and Dante Walkup

John Wright  |  Online Editor
wright@dallasvoice.com

Each year countless gay and lesbian couples travel from Texas to places where same-sex marriage is legal to tie the knot.

But Mark Reed hopes same-sex couples in Texas will soon be able to conveniently — and legally — marry without even leaving the state.

Reed, a board member for the national LGBT direct action group GetEQUAL, recently married his longtime partner, Dante Walkup, at the W Dallas Victory hotel.

Their “Skype” wedding was officiated via teleconference from Washington, D.C., where same-sex marriage is legal, and they received their license in the mail a short time later.

It’s called “e-marriage,” and it’s a sort of high-tech version of the proxy wedding traditionally held when one of the parties can’t be physically present — because, for example, they’re in the military stationed overseas.

“The reason we wanted to do it this way is because we wanted to have a wedding here in Dallas with our family and friends,” Reed said. “It was very important that all of our family came. It was the first time they actually met, even though we’ve been together 10 years. If we had to go to D.C., there’s no way we could have had the people there who we wanted to be there.”

Reed and Walkup, co-owners of WDM Lighting on Oak Lawn Avenue, were married in a conference room at the W hotel on Oct. 10, in front of about 80 people with a 6-by-8-foot screen looming behind them.

The couple had rented a similar room at a W hotel in Washington, where marriage quality activist Sheila Alexander-Reid officiated the wedding.

“When we walked down the aisle, as soon as we reached the front, she comes on the screen like The Wizard of Oz,” Reed said. “It was beautiful. It wasn’t make-believe. It was like she was really there.”

Although Reed and Walkup were able to hold their ceremony in Dallas, they had to go to D.C. beforehand to register. And Reed said while D.C.’s marriage law has no provision against e-marriage, the validity of the procedure could theoretically be challenged in court.

That’s why the couple is now working with legal experts and legislators from states where same-sex marriage is legal to draft statutes that would solidify the practice. Reed and Walkup traveled this week to Michigan for a symposium on e-marriage.

While the couple has no intention of using their case to challenge Texas’ bans on same-sex marriage, Reed said they want to make it more convenient and less expensive for same-sex couples to legally wed.

Reed is also in the process of changing his surname in a Texas court, and he’s been fighting The Dallas Morning News — thus far unsuccessfully — to print their announcement in “Weddings” instead of in another section called “Commitments.”

“It’s like the more equal we can get through creative ways, we’re going to do it,” Reed said. “It’s just important to do anything we can to find creative ways around inequality.”

—  John Wright

Kelly McGillis Ties the Knot

KELLY MCGILLIS X390Kelly McGillis, the Top Gun actress who came out in an interview with SheWired.com last year, has wed her longtime girlfriend Melanie Leis in a civil union.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  John Wright

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Ties Knot with Partner Michael Mronz in Civil Partnership

Power

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, entered into a civil partnership with his partner Michael Mronz, the German newspaper Bild reports.

According to Bild, the ceremony was conducted by Bonn Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch was held in Bonn. Westerwelle Mronz and both wore dark suits, the FDP leader a light blue tie, his husband, a yellow-green tie. Approximately 20 people, close family and friends, witnessed the ceremony.

Germany's civil partnerships provide all the rights of marriage except except joint adoption and full tax benefits.

(image taken following Angela Merkel's 2009 election win)


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle Ties Knot with Partner Michael Mronz in Civil Partnership

Power

Guido Westerwelle, Germany's foreign minister, entered into a civil partnership with his partner Michael Mronz, the German newspaper Bild reports.

According to Bild, the ceremony was conducted by Bonn Mayor Jürgen Nimptsch was held in Bonn. Westerwelle Mronz and both wore dark suits, the FDP leader a light blue tie, his husband, a yellow-green tie. Approximately 20 people, close family and friends, witnessed the ceremony.

Germany's civil partnerships provide all the rights of marriage except except joint adoption and full tax benefits.

(image taken following Angela Merkel's 2009 election win)


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright