As Royal Wedding Draws Headlines, D.C. Gay Couple Prepares to Say 'I Do'

Jonathan Howard and Gregory Jones pose with their marriage license in Washington, D.C.

Sitting in front of the fireplace nearly a year and a half ago, Jon turned to Greg and asked a question he knew would change their lives forever: “Will you marry me?” Now, after months of invitations, seating charts and cake tastings, the couple will exchange vows just outside the nation’s capital in front of friends, family members and colleagues. “I knew from the moment I met Greg he would be a part of my life forever,” says Jonathan of his husband-to-be. As the world turns its eye to Westminster Abbey on Friday for the highly anticipated wedding of Prince William to Catherine “Kate” Middleton, we are reminded of what makes marriage so magical – the love and commitment that two people promise to share for a lifetime. But we must also be reminded of the millions of gay and lesbian Americans who are denied that opportunity because of who they are. “We are all too well aware of the fact that too many loving couples cannot get married in the United States,” says Jonathan. “We need to change that and one of the best ways is to show the world that our love is no different [than straight couples’].” Jon and Greg shared their story with nation last year after entering Crate & Barrel’s “Ultimate Wedding Contest.” The couple would eventually garner over 20,000 votes from supporters all over the country, and placed second overall. Now, Jon and Greg are helping to share others’ stories by encouraging their friends and family to support this year’s gay and lesbian “Ultimate Wedding” contestants.

Husbands-to-be Robbie Cronord and Allen Artcliff are top contenders in Crate & Barrel's 2011 'Ultimate Wedding Contest'

One such couple, Robbie Cronrod and Allen Artcliff, are poised to be among the 2011 finalists, earning over 7,000 votes to date. But Robbie and Allen are hoping for something much more than just the cash prize. “To our knowledge we’d be the first gay couple to win a national contest for a wedding,” says Robbie. “Winning could create nationwide media attention about the importance of marriage being between two loving people...  A win for us is a win for the LGBT community.” Other same-sex couples in this year’s contest include Carrie and Anastasia, Theresa and Heather and Patrick and Brian. “Greg and I are both strong believers that by sharing our stories, we can help people understand that gay and lesbian couples are just like them,” says Jonathan. “On Saturday, we will make a promise to love and take care of each other for the rest of our lives – we just hope that one day, everyone will have that same chance.” GLAAD congratulates Jonathan and Gregory on their upcoming wedding! To cast a vote for your favorite same-sex couple in Crate & Barrel’s “Ultimate Wedding Contest,” click here.