Love is in the air at Gay Wedding Show as partners plan for their big day
...but the church's attitude sparks a mixture of disappointment and anger, reports Rob Hastings
Sunday 11 March 2012
Stepping out onto a balcony on London's Southbank to take a break from welcoming visitors to the Gay Wedding Show with glasses of Lambrini, Gino Meriano gestured at St Paul’s Cathedral on the opposite side of the Thames.
“This has nothing to do with them,” he said of the church’s battle against gay marriage. “This is huge, this is it, this is the next big step. The Government will pass it; it’s going to happen.”
Mingling among stallholders offering traditional wedding services (jewellery, catering, photography) alongside the less conventional (Lucinda’s Lovelies, a cabaret show for stag and hen parties) Mr Meriano’s confidence that gay marriage will be legalised was widespread at the show held above The Swan At The Globe bar today.
But there was disappointment and anger at the church’s attitude.
“It’s absolutely appalling that such archaic organisations hold sway over people’s lives,” said Matt Turrell, 37, founder of Boy Oh Boy photography.
“It’s horrendously judgemental and it’s pretty evil actually – we’re equal citizens and we’re not treated as such, and these organisations are stirring up hatred against people who play a big role in our society.”
Looking at rings with her partner Shelley Webster in preparation for their ceremony in Camden Lock next year, Evelyn Len, 29, herself a Christian, said she felt the way the debate was being conducted gave her religion a bad name.
“I’m an Anglo-Catholic, but what we do isn’t about them, it’s about us,” she said. “I’ve made my peace with God, I’ve come to terms with my sexuality, and I don’t believe I’m going to hell.
“If I could get married in a church I would do. The closest that we’re able to come to that is to get a bishop to bless our partnership.”
Natasha Marshall and Debbie Cross, six months from their ceremony, said they would choose a civil partnership over a wedding if given the choice – but believed it was important gay people should at least be offered that choice.
Despite the anti-church sentiment, Mr Meriano, 49, who founded the event in 2004, said the gay community should take care to lobby in a “professional and respectful manner” in the face of religious anger, which he said was provoking a “mass explosion”.
filmNymphomaniac is more Carl Dreyer than sexploitation of Russ Meyer
scienceScientists find the answer to a question that even puzzled Darwin
arts + entsThe 'Friends' actor on his new role as campaigner on addiction issues
Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
Colin Farrell reveals ‘affair’ with Elizabeth Taylor: 'She was my last romantic relationship'
Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
India-US row over escalates over arrest of diplomat Devyani Khobragade in New York
Peter O'Toole: Tales of the late film icon
Exclusive: Young people ‘want UK to stay in Europe’: Four in 10 adults aged 18 to 24 are ‘firmly in favour’ of membership, poll shows
Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white
You can STILL be jailed for being a republican, government confirms, and it remains illegal to even 'imagine' overthrowing the Queen
Kiss and yell: Italian protester charged with sexual assault after kissing riot police officer
Fighting back: the woman giving a voice (and 49,999 others) to the victims of sexism - by giving an airing to their horror stories
PM denies two child limit for benefits is part of Tory welfare policy
- 1 Facebook 'self-censorship': study records when you don't post to find more ways to share
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 4 Vitamin pills are a waste of money, offer no health benefits and could be harmful - study
- 5 Children evacuated from swimming pool after prosthetic leg mistaken for paedophile
- < Previous
- Next >
£55000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior C# ASP.NET Deve...
£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: Senior QA Engineer Tes...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Harrington Starr: QA Automation Explorat...
£50000 - £75000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Harrington Starr: Implementation...