Gretchen & Kathryn Hamm Share Their Thoughts On Gay Weddings on XM Radio Show: The Agenda with Joe Solmonese

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On Monday, October 23, we had the pleasure of joining Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, and his co-host, Mary Breslaur, on HRC’s satellite radio show, The Agenda, on XM Radio.
We sat in on the opening segment, Cup of Joe, and enjoyed 15 minutes of banter about how my straight mom, Gretchen, founded the original online boutiques for same sex weddings, TwoBrides.com & TwoGrooms.com, and how the business has grown into its bigger parking spot on the web at GayWeddings.com. And I, Kathryn, talked a bit about gay weddings and how radical they can be through the end result of transformation through a traditional ritual.
If you have XM Radio and haven’t checked out The Agenda on Monday nights (6-8 pm ET), we encourage you to do so. It’s a great, weekly show which covers all sorts of fun & informative topics with the help of its engaging hosts.
If you didn’t get a chance to catch us during the show, then feel free to tune in now and listen via the web. You can hear the first half of our interview here and the second half here.
You can also catch the entire show, including guests comedian Karen Williams, author John Harris, and dog trainer, Zach Grey, by visiting the blog for The Agenda.
Photo credit: Steve Reed
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From The Gay Wedding Mailbag — Practical Magic: Moms With Passion

e-stamp-LG.jpgDear Reader,
You know how I love our mailbag! Here’s another great letter we just received!
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Thanks, Kathryn and Gretchen for the nice things you’ve said about Atticus Circle in this space. What connects all of us in this work is our passion … and our practicality.
Our passion to change what’s wrong … our practicality in doing what needs to be done.
I love the fact that Gretchen started her company, now known as GayWeddings.com, for the simple reason that there was no service to help her daughter celebrate her partnership. Talk about necessity being the mother of invention … as a mother doing right by her daughter, Gretchen has taken necessity and made it into a venture that has helped many couples mark that special day.
Practicality motivated my passion, too. When I learned how marriage inequality hurt the children of same-sex couples, I wanted to do something. I wanted a place where a straight person could stand out and stand up … and there wasn’t one. So I created Atticus Circle where thousands of people who believe in equal rights for all partners, parents and their children now stand together to end discrimination based on who someone loves.
I have been moved by the many people who have joined us … as supporters, donors and advocates. How these people came to join us demonstrates the magic that happens when passion and practicality combine!
An article about Atticus in a business publication motivated one man to call and thank me for providing a “safe place” for him to stand up. He is now one of our biggest contributors.
A conversation that started with a request for directions ended with a young man in Charlottesville, Virginia, joining us and bringing his mother in as a member as well. Matt and his partner are now engaged so maybe GayWeddings.com is in their future!
A desire to work with my dear friend Jeff Lutes on this issue prompted an amazing partnership with Soulforce, the group he now serves as Executive Director. We are organizing Seven Straight Days for Equal Rights, a weeklong event in September 2007 that will give straight people all across the country a place to stand up for equal rights.
The very practical need to build the grassroots support needed for an action like that has Atticus Circle launching, Fifty Friends Forward. We are trying to get fifty new members from each of the fifty states. Will you help us spread the word? We have postcards you can send to their friends and emails they can forward as well. It’s a great time to pull out the old address book and re-connect with old friends.
Passion and practicality. Another way of saying, “Find your passion and make it happen.” That’s what we’re all doing. Whether we’re building a relationship and marking that commitment with a ceremony, or fighting for a cause we believe in … and finding fellow travelers to share the journey with us. I’m honored to be on the road with passionate people like Gretchen, Kathryn and you.
Sincerely,
Anne S. Wynne
Founder, Atticus Circle

Meet Gretchen:The Mom Behind The Gay Wedding Boutiques

GPH-LG.jpgHow times have changed! When I started TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com in 2000, I was surprised to discover that the majority of my same-sex market was not clamoring to walk down the aisle yet! The idea to stand before friends and family to make their love and commitment public was new to many GLBT couples. I am happy to report that now many couples are making a trip down the aisle, whether it is legal or not. Professing love and commitment to one another alters one’s relationship. It certainly is no longer in the closet! It also takes it out of the living room. When others listen to a couple profess their commitment to one another, they listen to it in a public domain and that commitment is now held in their hearts, too. I know when I go to a wedding, I feel a responsibility to support the couple in their future lives.
The more same sex couples are front and center with their loves and lives, the faster change will happen. This is how the cultural landscape will eventually change for same sex couples, enabling them to have legal rights along with their commitment to one another. So down the aisle you go……bringing your parents, grandparents, friends and family right behind you! I am right there with you, throwing lots of rice your way, but only after you have thrown your bouquets or your armbands to the friends who await the sign that they’ll be next in line.
With love,
Gretchen

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage, Then Comes Baby On A Family Cruise!

“First comes love, then comes marriage”, then come the kids on a Rosie Cruise! Last night I was lucky enough to attend the Dallas premiere of “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise”, an HBO Documentary which will air on April 6th. Get your handkerchief ready! I was wiping tears from my eyes during the whole film. It is hard to believe that there are those who hate and denigrate these families, whether it be a couple or a couple with children. I honestly do not know how anyone will be able to watch this film and not change their thinking at least a little bit. Let’s send this film to everyone in Washington!
Seeing all these wonderful families able to be free and to be themselves….to live in the space of total freedom with no judgement for a week! Couples could hold hands, steal a kiss in the sunset, kids could play with other kids from families just like theirs. One little boy was overheard in the pool asking a new friend, ” Do you have Mommies or Daddies?” In real life these kids often must explain that their parents may look different from other parents, but “look different” is the only difference. Parents are parents, and a pair of gay or lesbian parents are no different. The tremendous love, devotion, and even frustration is exquistely revealed in the film. It was especially moving to see two fathers tend to their babies or their teenage daughter.
Gay parents more than others know what a privilege it is to be parents, and it shows. Every pregnancy or adoption is planned with great forethought, expense, and usually difficulty. I did not know that in some states lesbian women can only buy frozen sperm, not fresh sperm! My goodness, I continue to be shocked at the depth of discrimination in this country toward this community.
I also was shocked to see that some small religious groups demonstrated against these families as they disembarked in Nassau. It is one thing to say all the hateful things which get said in demonstrations, but these Christians were yelling these terrible things where these precious innocent children were walking with their parents. I don’t understand. The gay parents aren’t going to stop being gay, but the children will be hurt and probably do not understand if they are young.
In many cases with gay families, the order is a bit different than as I first said here. Often it is “First comes love”, then come kids, and “then comes marriage” between Mommy and Mommy (or Daddy and Daddy)! (This is not so different in the straight world these days!) Many couples had their weddings on board ship with their children in attendence. One couple told how important it was to their children for them to be married and that the children seemed even more excited than they were that their parents were finally getting “married” (not necessarily legal marriage). It is a bit disconcerting as one pair of dads said, ” We are legal adoptive parents of these children, but it is illegal for us to be married!” Go figure……
Set your Tivos for “All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise” on HBO on April 6th! It is a treat to watch, and you will be glad you did. I am already making a list of those to whom I want to send the future DVD of this.
If you want to join Rosie and Kelli on a Family Cruise, click here to find the latest schedules. This summer’s cruise is almost sold out, so don’t wait! You may see me on one next year! Everyone goes on these cruises–gay families and their extended families, straight families and friends, regardless of race or sexual orientation! How good is that!
Join Kelli, Rosie, HRC, and all of us at GayWeddings.com in helping to build a straight alliance with the GLBT community across this nation. When we all join together on behalf of fairness and justice for these wonderful families and those who will be future families, we will be able to finally secure equal rights for a group of Americans who do not enjoy the same rights that we non-gay folks do.