*Check back ofton as we continue to build, & make progress!
Hello you wonderful supporters of Md. Equality,
We are the Riley’s (Christopher “Chris” & Shawn) and we have been fighting for marriage equality in our home state of Maryland for several years now. This fight has been long, and very difficult, but with the help of so many people, we finally have accomplished our goal…. Marriage equality for ALL in Maryland! Shawn and I were married in Washington D.C. on April 9th 2010 in a courtroom, surrounded by a small group of our closest friends, and family. We wanted to have that recognition that is achieved when you get a wedding license, and promise to love, honor, and cherish as long as we both shall live. We had planned on following up with our civil marriage, by having a large ceremony in our home state sometime that Fall, but that never happened. Why did we put it on hold you might ask? Well we realized that it was unfair to us, as well as so many of our friends, family, and neighbors in the GLBT community, that we are unable to have our marriage recognized in our own state. We had to go out of state to get our license, and even still, when we crossed back into Maryland, it went on not counting, as though it never happened. The more we talked about it, the more we realized that it would be a mistake to plan, and hold a ceremony here until it would be recognized HERE! The money, the effort, the emotion that goes into planning, and executing a wedding, should not be done as a dress rehearsal (before the state makes it law) but should be the real thing, counted by our state.
A short while before the Election was to take place, I came up with an idea to try and reach out to the citizens in Maryland who were still “undecided” on the issue of gay marriage, so I added a very personal proposal online (through Reddit.com) with the tagline reading “If gay marriage passes in Maryland, I will invite ANYONE that votes YES to my wedding ceremony!”. (Reddit.com/tb/11we84) Well as you can imagine, the responses started flowing in, and an overwhelming amount of the comments we received were very positive, and heartfelt. After the Election on Tuesday, and the passing of Marriage equality in Maryland was realized, the comments continued rolling in. People were congratulating us, and of course, wondering when they would be invited to the wedding. The more we thought it over, the more we realized we could really take this to a place that SSM supporters in Maryland has never seen, thus the birth of what we now kindly refer to as “Chris & Shawn’s BIG “GAY” Public Maryland Wedding”.
The idea behind “Chris & Shawn’s BIG “GAY” Public Maryland Wedding”, is to unite the people who voted FOR question 6, the opportunity to see firsthand exactly what their vote did for so many loving GLBT couples in the state, and to allow them access to one of those “gay” wedding. This insures that they see marriage between two GLBT individuals, as truly no different then any other marriage. Marriage in general is an expression of love, commitment, mutual respect, and the desire to be bound spiritually, physically, and mentally to that one person that completes you. Marriages are indeed made up of many different people, some are man & woman, some are Interracial, some are religious, others are civil, and now in Maryland, some are same sex. The one thing that binds all of these marriages together is how they are performed with the same purpose in mind… bringing together “two” consenting people in love. That being said, we would very much like to give the public this token of our esteem, to share in our most special day…our wedding!
Please stay tuned… We are just in the beginning stages of our wedding planning, as well as trying to get as much publicity as possible to spread our story to ALL Marylanders who voted FOR our civil marriage. We hope to also have some GLBT friendly vendors get involved to help us offset the costs of such an event. As we get more information available, I will update the site for all to see. In the mean time I will leave you with this tidbit…
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*please keep your date books, and calendars free for the second weekend in April of 2013!
Chris & Shawn