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Southeast Southeast Legals & Logistics for Your Ceremony in the South

lesbians are now permitted under some circumstances to adopt.

t present, there are no states in the South that offer any kind of legal recognition for same-gender relationships. However, there are important differences between many regions that couples ought to consider when planning a ceremony, or choosing to grow their family.

Despite these circumstances, gay and lesbian couples continue to marry every day throughout the Southern states, in intimate ceremonies with a few friends as well as in elaborate and elegant celebrations midst hundreds of overjoyed and tearful guests. Legal rights and benefits may not be provided by the state (nor by the federal government) but couples continue to create their own meaningfulness and sense of validation. The laws will change; but for now, there is Love.

In Atlanta for instance, co-parent adoptions are permitted for same-gender couples; however, in North Carolina they are not. In Florida, laws have finally eased and gays &

Pictured above: Angel & Jay, at their commitment ceremony on May 15, 2008 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Photo by Todd Gilman

To find screened, gay-friendly wedding professionals in your area, visit the Orange Pages in this issue, or our extended Directory online at RainbowWedding Network.com.

Southern Charm: Celebration HotSpots in Atlanta ven before the 1996 Olympics, Atlanta had proven itself as one of the fastest growing cities in America, with multitudes of transplants from all over the country. Such an influx of diverse influences has made Atlanta more than just a Southern hub; the metro area today boasts a dedication to modern thinking and with that, a general acceptance of the non-traditional. Gay marriage may not be legally recognized in Georgia, but the annual Pride Celebration is comparable to those held in cities like New York City, San Francisco and Washington DC; enclaves of Atlanta such as Midtown and Decatur are home to active and growing communities of LGBT residents… and hundreds of gay and lesbian couples plan their commitment ceremonies in this lively city each year. While the skyline evolves, and out-of-state influences sway the look and feel of Atlanta, Southern charm still remains the heart of

50 Rainbowweddingnetwork MAGAZINE

this town. And whether you & your partner are local, or you’re planning a destination wedding, a variety of wedding professionals wish to serve you not only with respect and excitement but also with that signature hospitality. Enjoy! Feeling pampered is one of the highlights of this special time in your lives.

Many Venues to Choose From… City Lights A metropolitan backdrop is an easy option in Atlanta: there’s Piedmont Park (for many years the host location of Pride), the Botanical Gardens and the Aquarium are nearby… and of course there are many gay-friendly hotels throughout downtown and Midtown, such as the boutique Kimpton property, Hotel Palomar (host venue of the ‘Same Love, Same Rights’ LGBT Wedding Expos in 2010/11.) For a trendy, more industrial and

artistic location, consider the studio of Bold American Catering at the King Plow Center (also a past host of the LGBT Wedding Expo.) Several welcoming churches and synagogues are in the immediate area, such as the MCC, the First Existentialist Congregation near Candler Park, Congregation Bet Haverim in Decatur or the St Mark United Methodist on Peachtree Street. Southern Traditions When considering the more traditional facilities, especially in the South, many same-sex couples may be pleasantly surprised to find that several are in fact building reputations as being gay-friendly. If you are unsure, check with LGBT directories or other resources as you begin scouting for your ceremony and reception venue… but rest assured those mentioned below have upheld a policy of non-discrimination for some time.

The 2011 LGBT Wedding Planning Guide (Vol. 6, Is. 1)  

An expanded issue of the nation's first Gay and Lesbian Wedding Magazine. This issue features the latest tips and trends for 2011 along wit...

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