AKRON, Ohio–The landmark decision to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this year brought several couples to Akron Saturday night. Six couples participated in a “mass wedding,” sending the collective message that loves wins.
The event brought same-sex couples and one heterosexual couple together to the Akron Civic Theatre. Some got married for the first time while others renewed their vows. Many said it was a day of happiness, but also it was history in the making.
“It’s incredible we have come so far, in such a short time, but love is love and it should be recognized,” said Rich Hoselton, who co-coordinated the ceremony.
Brad Givens and his partner, Mario Puerto, have been waiting for the moment they could married in Givens hometown of Akron.
“I’m in shock. It’s a little surreal. I thought it was just another day, until like 5 p.m.,” he said.
Givens told Fox 8 it was extra sweet because of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality back in June.
“I was like, wow, what better place to do it. We were going to wait til December, but my mom’s birthday was yesterday. She was gone for 10years. So it all fell into place and we thought what a wonderful place to do this and to be part of history.”
Stow Mayor Sara Drew officiated the mass wedding on Saturday.
It was a weekend of love and acceptance as the ceremony happened at the same time as Flair Fest, right outside on Main Street.
“To actually have the opportunity to be married as a same-sex couple is a big deal,” said Fred Berry, who attended Flair Fest.
Berry, who manned the CANAPI and Gay Community Endowment Fund booth, said this is the second year the city has been featuring food, entertainment and fun for the LGBT community and beyond.
“It’s about the entire community coming down and celebrating this open and inclusive
environment and enjoying what’s here.”
And for the couples who legalized their commitment, they said it’s a time they won’t forget.