Since the beginning of the year, we all knew that February 5th would be a special day for many couples from all over the world. With marriage equality now being law in Florida, couples planning their nuptials no longer had to wish the day would finally come. The light at the end of the tunnel has been seen, and for 100 couples, that light would be the Sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean during a mass wedding ceremony on the Fort Lauderdale Beach.
The city’s Visitor and Convention Bureau organized the mass ceremony on the beach to celebrate marriage equality in Florida. People from all over the world sent their love story in as part of the campaign called ”Love is Love” or “LauderdaleLove.” Of those 200 couples who sent in their story, only 100 couples, both gay and straight, were chosen to partake in the ceremony. Jim Francher and Philip Johns say they have been together for 20 years are excited they were selected. “It’s exciting. It’s something totally different. I think it’s a great opportunity to join with other couples and what better place to get married than Fort Lauderdale Beach,” said Francher. – CBS MIAMI
Even the threat of rain did not stop these unions from taking place. The reception had been planned for the W across the street from the beach so the ceremony was held there as well in the hotel's second floor convention center space, right where the first Gay Days Fort Lauderdale had been just last November.
A Reverend, a Rabbi, 2 Priests, and an N'SYNC member walk into the W Hotel. No, that's not a joke, but it's how this morning started for 100 happy couples. One of the celebrants was Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins, Senior Pastor of the Sunshine Cathedral here in Fort Lauderdale. He and other religious leaders performed the ceremony for couples from as far away as London, Italy, and South America and couples from 18 states. Lance Bass and husband Michael Turchin were present.
“And for a thrill, we’re in town for three hours. We’ve got to go back to New York right after,” says Bass, 35, the former ‘N Sync boy-band star whose E! television reality special, Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding, debuts 8 p.m. Thursday. – MiamiHerald.com
"Love is Love" indeed. We wish to congratulate all the couples that were married today as well as the ones that renewed their vows. We also would like to thank Lance Bass for being an ambassador today at the ceremony, but as well an ambassador of our rights as his show premieres tonight.
Here is some local news coverage of the event followed by some pictures of the happy couples that were present today.