With mere days remaining in Crate & Barrel’s ‘Ultimate Wedding’ sweepstakes, same-sex couples from across the nation continue to be top contenders for the $100,000 prize. Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard, a D.C. based couple who were among the first in the District to apply for a marriage license this month, currently hold the #2 spot for most votes earned with over 11,000 votes. (To vote for Gregory and Jonathan, click here) “We knew that we were right for each other from the start,” says Howard. “We knew that we would always be by each other’s side.” But in August 2008, crisis struck the couple when Howard was the victim of a bias-motivated crime. “We were walking home and a group of four guys pulled up to us in a car,” Howard told D.C. Agenda. “I turned around to see what the commotion was and the last thing I remember is hearing, ‘Die, fa**ot, die,’ as they stomped my head into the pavement.” Howard’s attacker pleaded guilty to the assault but was awarded a two-year suspended sentence, earning him zero jail time. The outrageous ruling continues to haunt Howard:
“After the attack and the trial Greg stood by my side. He held me up and he pushed me forward. He was there with me through the constant nightmares and my struggle to understand. He was also the one who helped me gain the courage to speak out about what happened to me.”Now, two years later, Howard and Jones are forging the path to marriage equality in the nation’s capital. The couple were among the very first to apply for a marriage license in the District and earned attention from news giants like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Tribune. Howard and Jones now hope to celebrate their nuptials with a wedding of their dreams. Howard told D.C. Agenda that winning Crate & Barrel’s ‘Ultimate Wedding’ contest would be a significant victory not only for Gregory and him, but for the LGBT community as a whole:
“It would be great for us but more than that for the community to really say, ‘Hey, we’re a normal couple and we’re getting married and it doesn’t matter if it’s two men’. [Crate & Barrel] is supporting us and it’s a great story [and] it’s a great step for marriage equality... I would be shocked and amazed and overwhelmed and overjoyed and it would be just great for everybody involved.”Other same-sex couple performing strongly in the contest include 'Mikey and Earl’, 'Emily and Rachel', and 'Ed and Erwin'. GLAAD urges you to visit Crate & Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding Contest website and vote for your favorite same-sex couples. Remember, voting closes March 31 so cast yours now!