Tag Archives: Lesbian Weddings

Study Shows Marriage Equality Has Lowered Suicide Rates

According to the Trevor Project, one out of every six teenagers contemplates suicide each year. Lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers are four times as likely to actually attempt suicide as hetereosexual students of the same age.

That’s depressing, and the fact that anyone contemplates or attempts suicide is a tragedy. But there is good news.

According to researchers at Harvard University and John Hopkins University, suicide attempts by queer youth have dropped by 7% since same-sex marriage was legalized in the United States.

Between 1999 and 2015, before gay marriage was legalized, 28% of lesbian, gay and bisexual students attempted suicide. In less than two years, that statistic has dropped to 21%. Twenty-one percent is still very high, but that’s a lot of progress for such a short amount of time. The researchers gathered information from nearly 800,000 students.

So why the direct correlation between marriage equality and lower suicide rates?

On one hand, it doesn’t make any sense. Teenagers are too young to get married, so the ruling does not directly impact their lives. Legislation about gender equality in bathrooms or anti-bullying would affect them more. So why do kids care that gay people can get married?

Before the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, states that individually legalized gay marriage were found to have more supporters of LGBT rights. That means that the state as a whole felt more inclusive. And residents were more likely to (eventually) vote for legislation that further improved the quality of life for LGBT people.

Now that gay marriage is legalized throughout the United States, the same seems to be true: LGBT teenagers see that their way of life is legally accepted throughout the entire country, which makes them feel less like outcasts, which means that fewer attempt suicide.

Is gay marriage the magic band-aid for LGBT issues? Of course not. As we’ve seen by Trump’s treatment of transgender students, as well as the fact that gay people can still be fired for their sexuality in many states, the LGBT equality movement still has a long way to go.

But the dropping suicide rates are a beacon of hope. Maybe one day, instead of 21%, it will be zero.

Read the study here.

Italian Court Orders Cites To Stop Recognising The Weddings Hundreds Of Married Same-Sex Couples

This year, Italy has seen a number of city officials – including the Mayor of Rome –officially recognise the weddings of gay and lesbian couples overseas, despite threats from the government not to do so.

Wedding photography by Paola De Paola

However, they will now be forced to stop doing so, and to strip existing same-sex spouses of their legal rights.

This ruling comes after Italian Interior Minister, Angelino Alfano took the issue to the Council of State – Italy’s highest administrative court.

Alfano told the Gazzetta del Sud:

Last year my circular banning the transcription of gay marriages contracted abroad drew controversy, sometimes even violent aggression and a hail of appeals.

Now the Council of State has borne me out entirely: marriage between two people of the same sex is not contemplated under Italian law, therefore the transcriptions made by local mayors are illegal and monitoring is the competence of the prefect. Very good.”

Italy has poor provisions for LGBT people party due to the strong influence of the Catholic Church, with no country-wide recognition of same-sex couples at present.

A civil unions bill was recently tabled in the country’s Parliament, but is yet to come to a vote. Same-sex marriage has been emphatically ruled out.

The new proposed law would offer some, but not all, of the benefits of marriage.

Included in the law would be partial pension rights, automatic inheritance and would enable same-sex partners to adopt each other’s children, if the child only has one legal parent.

However, some have slammed it as a poor compromise.

Katherine Heigl’s Lesbian Wedding Movie to Make it to the Big Screen

Katherine Heigl’s gay marriage film ‘Jenny’s Wedding’, is set to be picked up by a distributor at the American Film Market.

The lesbian feature tells the story of Jenny (played by Katherine Heigl), who has led an openly gay life – except with her conventional family. When she finally decides to start a family of her own and marry the woman they thought was just her roommate, her family’s world will be turned upside down.

The film – written and directed by Mary Agnes Donoghue (Beaches, White Oleander, and Deceived) – recently attracted attention for launching a crowdfunding campaign for completion funds. Fans pledged $96,000 towards post production costs via a campaign on indiegogo.

Donoghue said the production wrapped in Cleveland last year, however post production has only recently been completed thanks to the fundraising efforts of fans who helped raise the money for the films final grading, sound mix and titles.


The director says she didn’t make ‘Jenny’s Wedding with the intention of it being a blockbuster hit. She is telling the story of her niece, also named Jenny, who came out to her sister and told her that she wanted to marry a woman. This film is chronicling the journey that they went through together as a family and the personal courage it took Jenny, as well as each of her family members, to live outside of their comfort zone and explore a new world together in order to come back together as a family.

“There is a Jenny in my life and family but this really isn’t her story, but the people who inspired the story have told me that they felt that we had captured them in the film.”

Mary Agnes Donoghue

Donoghue is hopeful that Heigl’s increased profile (thanks to the pick up ofher new TV series State of the Nation by NBC), will bode well for a cinema release of Jenny’s Wedding.

America’s Greatest LGBT Jeweller: An Interview with Rony Tennenbaum

Tom Sykes: You’ve been making jewellery for LGBT couples for some time now. How did you get into that world?

Rony Tennenbaum: I’ve been in the jewellery business for over 25 years. I  worked for various companies doing every kind of job, from back-end manufacturing from the ground up, to sourcing the gold and the diamonds, to putting jewellery together, polishing it and finishing it. Then about 7 years ago I took all the  knowledge I had acquired and decided to go it alone. I saw a niche because nobody else was catering to the LGBT community, which was my community. So I started my own line that would fill that niche.

TS: How is it that LGBTs’ tastes in jewellery differ from straight people’s tastes?

There’s definitely more trend awareness amongst LGBT people, especially with respect to fashion. I keep telling people that 10 years ago, when we didn’t have marriage equality, everyone thought the norm in wedding jewellery was a man going out and buying a diamond ring for a woman who he would then propose to.

The dynamic has changed now that we have so many LGBT marriages. All kinds of questions have been raised in my community. Do we both propose to each other? Do we both wear diamond rings? Do we both have to wear the same ring? Nowadays gay and lesbian couples will propose to each other and both wear jewellery. So there is a difference in taste and in attitudes to getting married. My experience with LGBT couples has taught me that they’re not looking for the traditional engagement and wedding rings that you find in your typical stores.

TS: What are the pieces you’ve made that you’re most proud of?

RT: My pride and joy is my LVOE trademark collection. The letters of the word LOVE are deliberately jumbled around to signify that love is love no matter how you spell it or define it. Love is love no matter who the people in love are. The LVOE line always resonates with people because the statement is so strong. It has a powerful sentiment and meaning beyond your usual rainbows and triangles and gay symbols. If you are going to wear a wedding or engagement ring then it must be very special and unique to you.

TS: You’ve been described as a ‘sought-after authority’ on LGBT wedding ring fashion. What’s exciting you right now?

RT: A couple of things. My community is not accustomed to the whole practice of getting engaged. We’ve been so enthralled about the changes to the law allowing us to get married in the first place that few of us stop and think about the practicalities of how we should get engaged and married. So there are all these new demands on jewellers like me. Gay men want to buy engagement rings and lesbians don’t want to wear the old-fashioned crown-head with a diamond sticking out of it, they want to buy a ring based on other criteria such as durability and wearability. In the LGBT wedding world we are moving away from traditional styles towards something more comfortable and distinctive.

TS: During the dark days when LGBT marriage was illegal across the whole of the United States, did you ever get into any trouble or feel threatened with regard to the work that you were doing?

RT: What is so great about the present day is that tolerance is growing fast. When I started out 7 years ago there were only something like 3 states that were pro-marriage equality and now we have reached almost half the country. There has been such a huge wave of acceptance of people like me.

Of course there are always going to be people who are ignorant about the facts, who don’t know LGBTs and who have misconceived notions about us. We need to confront those people and let them know that LGBTs are just as normal as anyone else. I had a store front for several years and a lot of my customers were straight couples. So there’s nothing about my jewellery that is exclusively LGBT, but my work comes from my heart and I do try to imbue it with symbols of love and tolerance.

TS: You’re also very passionate about charitable and philanthropic causes as ways of giving something back to the LGBT community. Could you tell us a little bit about that?

RT: I have a soft spot for the youth and especially young people who get bullied for their sexuality. There’s been a real increase in that in tandem with the growth of the internet; cyber bullying is so often targeted at LGBTs. One of my collections, called LVOE Life, is about learning to love who you are, no matter what your sexual persuasion is. Through my work, I want to help as many young gay and lesbians to understand that there are role models out there. I didn’t have that; I grew up in a time when there was no one to aspire to.

I’m so excited and proud to live in a time where I can say that I’m an accomplished gay businessman. I want others to be able to say the same thing; it’s a real passion of mine.

Gay Wedding Photographers Talk About Their Craft

Buzzfeed recently interviewed contributors to a fascinating new book about gay wedding photography, The New Art of Capturing Love. A dozen of them were happy to chat about snapping intimate moments, having their expectations challenged and learning about same-sex love…

Denver Smith loves snapping couples who are out and proud all the way through their wedding ceremony. ‘I love it when they both ask their parents to stand close to them during their vows,’ he says.

Thea Dodd from Authentic Eye Photography claims that photographing same-sex marriages has opened her mind and made her better at photographing any kind of wedding, straight or gay. The most wonderful moment in Andrea Flanagan’s career so far is witnessing the loved ones of a gay couple circling round them, offering their heratfelt compliments and tributes. For her, there was no better way these relatives could ‘support the union’. She has come up with this eloquent metaphor for marriage equality: ‘Love is a universal melody sung by all couples; it’s up to you to hear the music.’

‘There is something so pure, so real, and vulnerable about the love between the couples I’ve photographed,’ says Kristin Chalmers. Bri McDaniel believes that, in her line of work, there’s nothing better than documenting on camera the love of two people. Similarly, Kat Forder asserts that the quiet, intimate moments between LGBT newlyweds make the best pictures.

Maggie Winters of the Washington, DC-based wedding photography firm Pop Ed Co loves seeing her subjects being congratulated and high-fived by passersby: ‘People come from all over the district to get married and I look forward to every gig.’

‘The most important thing I learned when photographing same-sex couples was not to put gender roles on them,’ says straight snapper Cean Orrett, having spent two years working at same-sex weddings.

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