John M. Becker

Home State Pride: Vermont & Wisconsin

Filed By John M. Becker | June 14, 2013 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: commitment ceremony, Door County, gay marriage, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Vermont, Wisconsin

Bil and Jerame, both Indiana natives, are going to the White House today for a reception honoring the Indiana Fever, which just won the WNBA championship. Bil jokes that yesterday was the White House LGBT Pride reception, but today is Hoosier Pride at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

In that spirit, I thought I'd share two news items that make me proud of the states I've called home: Wisconsin and Vermont.

door_county_colors.jpgFirst, Wisconsin. I haven't found many reasons to take pride in my birth state lately, but I couldn't help smiling when I read a press release announcing Door County's inaugural "Commit with Pride" weekend, scheduled for September 20-22.

The weekend, hosted by the Door County Visitor Bureau, revolves around a mass commitment ceremony to be held on the waterfront at the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay. Rev. Richard Feyen of Hope United Church of Christ will officiate. The end of September is the beginning of Wisconsin's fall colors season, so the setting should be especially beautiful.

Same-sex couples in Wisconsin are forbidden from marrying each other by a constitutional marriage discrimination amendment, and with anti-LGBT Republicans in firm control of state government, repeal efforts are dead in the water for the time being. So it's especially encouraging to see tourism groups and faith leaders stepping up and providing other creative opportunities for couples to make meaningful commitments to each other.

Not to be outdone, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Stowe Mountain Lodge are sponsoring a new initiative called the Small Moments Project.

As its name suggests, the Small Moments Project aims to humanize the marriage equality debate by allowing same-sex couples to share their "small moments" with the world.

From the press release:

"A small moment is when you see him trying to work the DVR, unable to figure out which remote to use or when she is singing in the shower and doesn't think you can hear her. It's these moments that reaffirm our love for our partner and show our love is just as equal.

stowe_mtn_lodge.jpgCouples can share their favorite small moments by recording a video and uploading it to the project's website before July 31. Starting on August 1, voters will be able to choose their favorite small moments videos. The submission with the highest number of votes will win a dream honeymoon package sponsored by the Vermont Department of Tourism and the Stowe Mountain Lodge; a panel of celebrity LGBT and ally judges will select another video from the remaining top five vote-getters to receive a weekend getaway at the Helix Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Thanks to pro-equality businesses in both states for making me proud today!

Photo of Stowe Mountain Lodge via Condé Nast Traveler.

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