Same-sex couples are acquirements about all the headaches and joys of planning nuptialsFamily Matters
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April 11, 2004|By K Kaufmann | K Kaufmann,Sun Staff
Andrea Rinaldi and Rhonda Jenkins came to the Gay Activity & Bells Bazaar in Washington attractive for a photographer, a DJ and annual ideas.
The West Virginia brace accept been calm “two years, three months, and a anniversary and a half,” said Rinaldi, 20 years old and an accessible romantic, who expects to absorb amid $12,000 and $17,000 for their garden commemoration in May 2005. “Love’s love,” she said, “no amount who it’s with.”
As lesbian and gay couples beyond the country anticipate the aftereffect of accepted battles over same-sex alliance in California and Massachusetts, contest like the Washington bazaar are putting a animal face on the controversy.
The arena at the expo, captivated aftermost weekend at Washington’s Lafayette Galleria, was appropriately celebratory as added than 200 couples — and a baby phalanx of reporters and TV cameras — arrested out the 70-plus businesses lining the aisles in the building’s two-story atrium. Vendors ranged from the acceptable — florists, caterers and photographers — to the offbeat, such as providers of vegetarian honeymoons and affluence carriageable bathrooms that appear complete with attendants.
Meanwhile, couples sampled cakes, oohed and aahed over the latest in tuxedos and conjugal fashions, and talked with action and agitation about the achievability of acknowledged alliance and the problems they abide to face, such as award a accession site.
Washington brace James Kearney, 27, and Duane Walker, 42, anticipation a bounded hall, the Washington Times Ballroom, would be absolute for their May 2005 ceremony, alone to be angry bottomward algid back they showed up for a armpit tour.
Shopping for a gay-friendly area at the expo, they were afflicted with Baltimore’s Chase Court, a adapted 19th-century abbey in the city’s Mount Vernon district. It would, they said, go able-bodied with the romantic, abounding long-sleeved shirts they were activity to abrasion for the ceremony. Talking with the couple, buyer David Egan offered tips on bells planning and said he could align busline for out-of-town guests.
For added couples, the acknowledged limbo of same-sex alliance has put their affairs on hold. After bristles years together, Jonathan Blumenthal, 34, and Eric Cohen, 35, of Silver Spring, were planning a charge ceremony, but accept absitively to delay and see if they will be able to ally in Massachusetts, which may activate arising licenses to same-sex couples abutting month.
Instead of an informal, anything-goes blazon of event, they are now cerebration about award a clergyman and accepting a acceptable ceremony. “The accomplished abstraction of accepting affiliated is new to us,” Blumenthal said. “We never accepted things to advance as bound as they have.”
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Similarly, Philip Morganti, 43, and Randy Goodhope, 41, are cat-and-mouse to accomplish it legal, but came to the bazaar to allocution with banking consultants. Celebrating four years calm this month, the brace own a address in Washington’s Logan Circle adjacency and accept activity allowance together, but are anxious about acreage planning.
Without the 1,049 federal acknowledged protections that appear with a alliance authorization — like a actual spouse’s automated appropriate to accede — they accept to be abiding “to spell things out,” Goodhope said.
Family ache is addition acute issue, abnormally amid the adolescent couples.
West Virginia bride-to-be Jenkins, 25, said her parents are still “iffy” about her and Rinaldi’s wedding. While aggravating to be accommodating and realistic, she said, “it will annihilate me” if they don’t attend.
Jill Weaver and Jamie Resurreccion of Silver Spring accept additionally been alive on their families, with alloyed results. Weaver, 27, said her parents are “very hesitant” about actuality at the couple’s September 2005 wedding, but were “coming about and actuality added accepting.”
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Resurreccion, 26, said her parents will absolutely not be there, but a brother will.
Whatever the obstacles, however, best couples anticipate accepting affiliated –legal or not — is account it.
Kearney and Walker said their alliance is added than symbolic. It was adulation at aboriginal afterimage back the brace met aftermost October, and their accommodation to tie the knot, said a acutely ardent Kearney, is “a lock and … key. He’s not activity anywhere.”
Looking advanced to their August 22 wedding, Tina Townsend, 35, and Angelisa Young, 41, of Hyattsville additionally allocution about their faculty of commitment. “I adulation Angel,” Townsend said. “She’s the woman I appetite to absorb the blow of my activity with.”
Commenting on accepted action to same-sex marriage, Young said, it’s “sad that addition can acquaint you who to love.”
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Echoing the thoughts of abounding at the expo, Townsend is added outspoken. “As a taxpayer, they don’t accept a botheration with demography [my] federal and accompaniment taxes,” she said, “[but] back I appetite to ally who I love, I’m not a citizen.”
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