Former Dallasites Carrancho, Franklin exchanged vows atop a D.C. Pride parade float
George Carrancho and Sean Franklin remember the exact day, time and place they met. It was March 11, 2007, at 7:45 p.m. at J.R.’s. They saw one another, but Carrancho had to go.
“Desperate Housewives was about to air!” he exclaimed. But it was still “love at first sight” for the couple.
They remember their engagement, too: It happened three years ago, during Manchester, England Pride.
And now, without a doubt, they’ll also remember the day they got married.
Well, really, everyone who attended Capitol Pride in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, June 13 will remember when they got married. With TV personality Ross Matthews officiating, the couple said “I do” in front of family, friends and strangers on a Capitol Pride float, thanks to the Marriott hotel chain.
Of course, they remember the unexpected offer, too. The hotel chain’s press representative approached them as they left the April Supreme Court marriage equality hearings.
The proposal was simple: the hotel chain, as part of its #LoveTravels campaign, was looking for individuals and couples who travel often and who had a story to share.
Late last month, the call came: Were they still interested?
“We had three weeks’ notice,” Carrancho said. Before making a decision, however, they wanted to make sure their families and friends could attend. They said yes after rallying brothers, parents and others.
“Our families love us, and we’re close to them,” he explained.
Carrancho gets the strategy from the consumer and corporate perspective. As American Airlines’ former manager for LGBT and multicultural outreach and a frequent traveler, he understands that “it only makes sense for corporations to engage diverse communities. The fact is, we do travel and we have a variety of interests. Appealing to all audiences is in their best interest.”
The two hadn’t planned on getting married anywhere but Dallas, where Franklin lived for 20 years and Carrancho for seven.
“We miss Dallas. We miss our friends and the community. We loved Black Tie Dinner,” Carrancho said.
But the couple, now living in New York City, just couldn’t turn down the opportunity Marriott offered. A wedding in the nation’s capital hadn’t been on their radar. But they agreed to Marriott’s offer because of the unrivalled opportunity. Instead they’re hosting a big reception in Dallas in the fall, should same-sex marriage be recognized.
But the fight for equality isn’t over yet, however. Carrancho said he anticipates states like Texas will put up a fight even if the Supreme Court rules for marriage equality. Like in Alabama, judges and clerks may refuse to grant licenses in defiance of federal law.
But activists should continue the momentum for equality and for employment nondiscrimination protections, Carrancho insisted. “It’s a bunch of moving parts. The battle isn’t over,” he said.
Even if Franklin and Carrancho had decided not to get married during the Pride parade last weekend, they would have gotten married someday. Probably someday soon.
They clearly love one another, and friends call them relationship role models.
“We actually like each other. And we actually love one another,” Franklin said. “Not everyone does, or knows how to like and love. We’re at the age where we are beyond bullshit.
“You have to let the little things go,” Carrancho added. “You can’t fight over a guy checking you out or the underwear that is on the floor.”
The two might let go of the little things. But they won’t let go of one another: “If he dies before me,” Carrancho said of his new husband, “I’m jumping into the coffin with him.”
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 19, 2015.