Gay rights groups in Hawaii have been fighting for the legalization of gay marriage since 1980. Gay groups have developed the Gay Marriage Bureau as a resource for couples looking to get hooked in Hawaii, providing information on the history of the struggle in Hawaii and a list of resources for couples looking to wed.
Although gay marriage has not been legalized in Hawaii, the Gay Marriage Bureau maintains an inspiringly positive attitude on the issue. An article on gay marriage on the Bureau's website refers to 'when' gay marriage will be legalized, offering couples the opportunity to register their interest in having their gay marriages certified by the Bureau once the law is passed.
The Bureau has a registry of licensed ministers, rabbis, and other celebrants that are willing to perform same-sex unions. The site also functions as a registry of marriage industry businesses that will provide services for same-sex couples looking to get married in Hawaii, as well as resources for other states.
Couples considering a legal gay marriage or who are in a committed partnership should look carefully into the financial and legal provisions they can make to protect themselves.
In an article on gay marriage, a financial planner from gay-friendly firm PridePlanners recommends that gay couples keep records of all their forms submitted and other relevant documents. She advises that couples who get a Massachusetts wedding license should not cancel the documents they set up before they were married, such as powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, trusts, wills and appointment of guardians, advising that caution is the best path. Spouses should make the same financial provisions they would have before marriage was possible, to ensure their partner will be looked after in the event of a death.
A similar rule applies for all legal precautions gay couples take, such as hospital visitation authorizations. An Oakland lawyer advises that until their marriage has been upheld in an appellate court, it's better for gay couples to assume that it won't be.
What articles on same sex marriage never discuss is hosting bachelor/ette parties for the soon-to-be spouses? There are established traditions for hen's nights, but very few of the traditional events in a bridal shower hold appeal when the partners are both brides.
Bachelorette parties are a time to farewell single life, usually through an excess of debauchery. Mainstream resources for bachelorette parties are generally heavy on alcohol and male strippers and have yet to catch up with the need for lesbian bachelorettes.
When planning a lesbian bachelorette party, think creatively. If going for debauchery, don't be afraid to look through local adult stores for interesting toys, gifts and entertainment. Advise guests to ransack lingerie stores to provide the bachelorette with a gorgeous lingerie collection for her honeymoon.
Remember that a lesbian wedding has two brides, both of whom need separate send-offs, so when planning a friend's lesbian bachelorette party make sure her partner has her own party to go to.
You may have decided that you would prefer friends donate to a charity instead of buying a gift for your gay wedding, but how do you organize the charity gifts? Organizing a wedding involves enough tasks without having to coordinate donations to charity, and guests will want to provide you with a token of the donation made in your name.
Couples can now access charitable gift registries to allow friends to choose from a list of charitable foundations and make a donation. The registries work much the same way as a regular gift registry, with the couple selecting the organizations they would like donations made to, and friends accessing the list to choose from the selections.
Couples should keep an eye out in articles on same sex marriage for charitable gift registries. Some registries offer a gift registry as well as a donation registry, or provide an option for items to be donated (such as unwanted used wedding clothes) to benefit the organization.
There are a few specifically gay wedding gift registries popping up here and there, most of them located on the net. Although an increasing amount of mainstream retailers are aiming for the pink dollar these days very few mainstream registries have specifically gay options, so couples should do their research before deciding on the registry for them.
The oldest specifically-gay gift registry is the Rainbow Wedding Network, which has been operating since 2000. The Rainbow Wedding Network provides an online gift registry with an assortment of stores to choose gifts from. The registry has around 4000 stores registered and screens the stores for gay-friendliness before adding them to the registry. Most of the stores are non-mainstream and have unusual gifts available. Check for more gay gifts ideas.
Articles on same sex marriage note that specifically-gay registries often support stores that support the gay community, so if couples are interested in traditional as well as alternative gifts they should consider multiple registries. Couples should also remember that they can register with individual stores, so should consider approaching their favorite home-wares or gay jewelry stores for options.
As gift selection becomes more and more difficult for friends trying to help celebrate a gay wedding, couples shouldn't be too scared or embarrassed to consider asking for help with their honeymoon costs as part of their wedding gifts. There are several ways for couples to organize help with honeymoon costs without having to resort to asking for cash in the wedding card envelope.
A honeymoon registry is a one way to let friends help out with travel costs. The best way to find information on honeymoon registries is to look in gay wedding resource sites or an article on gay marriage. Couples divide the elements of the trip into components like flight, hotel, meals, spa treatments, excursions, so that they become manageable costs friends can contribute toward. Friends can add a personal touch by buying the element they most want to give. Although there are not many gay-specific honeymoon registry companies, many are gender neutral when signing up. When using a non-gay-specific registry, however, couples should check that the honeymoon destinations they select, and particularly accommodation options, are gay-friendly.
Another option couples should consider is travel vouchers and debit cards. Travel vouchers are available from some travel agents and are a good way for friends to subtly take some of the financial pressure out of the honeymoon plans. Debit cards are cash-free money that usually can be used world-wide, and come in handy for the numerous costs while traveling.
Opponents of gay marriage frequently bring up the Bible in support of their arguments. Although any article on gay marriage will bring up the Christian arguments against gay marriage, the Bible quotes supporting these arguments are rarely investigated.
In truth, the Bible does not mention gay marriage, mainly because in the time it was written the concept was unheard of. There are several sections that do concern marriage, including a reference that a man may take several wives, and a man is obligated to marry his brother's widow (something Henry VIII famously re-interpreted for his own purposes). Sections of the Bible that have been quoted to support arguments that marriage is only between a man and a woman are actually interpretations of passages – for instance, Genesis has been argued to lay down the law on the issue, but really only describes a story of one marriage without laying down any rules.
If an article on gay marriage cites a Bible passage in support of an anti-gay marriage argument, look it up. The Bible, although generally considered an authoritative text to use in a moral argument, is often quoted using a biased interpretation.
Gay wedding etiquette takes most of its leads from traditional wedding etiquette. Although wedding etiquette has subtle changes from culture to culture, there are some common social rules that it pays to observe to maintain harmony before, on, and after the wedding day. Couples should check articles on gay marriage for updates.
When sending out invitations, consider who you want invited guests to be allowed to bring and word the invitation accordingly. If you don't want children at the wedding, for example, leave their names off the invitation or include the term 'adult reception' instead of bluntly stating that children aren't allowed. Invite each member of a family by name, issuing a separate invitation for each child over 18, or add 'and a guest' for friends with unknown partners.
It is considered impolite to mention gifts on the wedding invitation, but friends can be informed of your gift registry on the grapevine or on the wedding shower invitations.
The latest edition of Emily Post's Wedding Etiquette book has a section on same-sex weddings and notes that common social rules say that friends have up to a year to give newlyweds a wedding gift. Wedding gifts don't have to be opened in front of everyone (or even at the reception), but should be acknowledged, usually with a formal note of thanks that can be delivered up to several months after the wedding.