The American Civil Liberties Union has decided to take their fight for gay rights outside the courtroom and into the hearts of Americans through a genius nation-wide competition. The ACLU is awarding 5 gay couples $5,000 and a trip to New York City to get married- but here’s the catch: they must be living in one of the 33 states who still refuse to legalize gay marriage.
Each couple must submit their dream wedding plans- from pictures to pastries and everything in between- as well as their own love story. The contest closes February 16th, just after Valentine’s Day.
James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT Project, speaks of the importance of the project. “I think a whole lot of people in the country have thought, ‘Oh well, the Supreme Court decided the gay marriage issue and it’s over, but they haven’t.’”
The union hopes to keep the issue in the forefront of American’s political minds so that the issue is not put to rest until all people can have an equal civil right to marriage. Despite the federal government’s ruling on the legality of gay marriage across the country, state laws make it extremely hard to financially plan a marriage, based on taxes and health insurance. No civil liberty is truly right until it offers equal opportunity for all, in every privilege of the right.
Not only does the ACLU hope to continue to work hard to legalize gay marriage in every state through this contest, they also hope to encourage gay couples to plant their roots in their home- where they should always be respected and loved. The more accepting the states are of this civil right, the better the country can preserve the principle of the freedom of the pursuit of happiness, which this country is founded upon.
Check out the featured contestants and their stories here!