You’ve got the girl, you’ve got the rings, and you’re ready to get hitched. Now you just have to figure out where you want to make it legal. And I’m not talking about the destination weddings some straight couples plan just for fun. For gay brides-to-be, the question of where to get married is a little thornier because, at least for now, the places where we can actually get a marriage license are few and far between.
If you’re fortunate enough to be from one of the 10 awesome countries that have decided to do the right thing and legalize same-sex marriage on a national level, then your decision is easy – you can tie the knot on your home turf. But, if you live in a country like the U.S., where only a handful of states will marry you and your lady, the decision becomes a bit more complex.
My home state of Illinois just so happens to be on the verge of legalizing same-sex civil unions, which I do appreciate and will admit is a big step in the right direction. But I don’t want a “civil union license,” I want a real, honest-to-goodness marriage license just like the ones they’ve been handing out to straight folks for centuries. But, if I want the real thing, I’ll obviously need to take a trip to Iowa or one of the forward-thinking New England states that allow gays to marry.
The only problem is that I’ve always imagined my wedding taking place right where I live – in Chicago. It’s where I was born, most of the people I love are already here, and I happen to think it’s a great city to throw a fantabulous party. But, the more I think about it, I can’t help but wonder: Is getting married in a state where same-sex marriage is illegal the marital equivalent of shopping at Target after the retail giant made a contribution to vehemently anti-gay Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer?
I mean, the wedding industry is big business. The average cost of a wedding in 2010 was almost $24,000, according to a WE tv Networks report. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s quite a bit of cash to pump into the economy of a state that doesn’t grant my relationship legal recognition. Maybe instead of just dropping by to pick up our marriage licenses, we should stay and actually have our big, fat lesbian weddings in the states that allow us to (legally) put a ring on it. Perhaps our gay dollars would be better spent at caterers, florists, bakeries and hotels in those states.