More Than Just A Crate & Barrel Wedding

I posted about Gregory and Jonathan’s  Crate and Barrel wedding dreams a few days ago, but I had no idea of the powerful backstory. From my post on Bilerico:

Same-sex partners are getting married in greater numbers than before in this country, but total acceptance seems a long way off. Surprisingly, Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard are currently in second place in Crate & Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding Contest. The DC area men, active for years in LGBT causes, decided to enter on a whim. I talked to Gregory (right) today.25937_1344804052669_1008271949_1032521_1916847_s.jpg

“We got engaged in October, and historically parents save for their daughters to get married, but they don’t really save for their sons, so the wedding was just going to be what we could afford. And in February, we opened a monthly customer email from Crate & Barrel advertising the contest. We just thought, ‘why not?’. We didn’t think it could hurt, and we might even win.”

The couple were already well-known because of Jonathan’s survival of a high-profile hate-crime in Boston in 2008.

“We had a lot of support from people from that and now it’s turned into something way bigger than just us. Because I wasn’t family or married to him, (the hospital staff) wouldn’t let me see him right away- and we don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.We tried to take this nightmare and turn it into a fairy tale for us.”

It’s become much more than just a contest to win a fabulous wedding.

“There are so many ways people can be an activist, some high profile, some just saying ‘look at all these people who support us’. It all works together to create change. It’s become an amazing vehicle for equality- the fabric of society is changing and hopefully we can be a force for social change and the acceptance of same-sex marriage.”

And they’ve changed some minds and hearts in the process.

“So many people came out of the woodwork to support us- including a guy who bullied me in middle school. He saw the posts mutual friends posted. He apologized to me and is now supporting us.”

Here’s hoping they change some more. Vote for them here.