In observance of Independence Day and the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality, Unity Church of San Antonio will play host to a day of gay and lesbian weddings in a series of ceremonies throughout the July Fourth holiday.
Couples wishing to marry at the church must reserve their ceremony ahead of time. On the day of the wedding, they must have a marriage license obtained at least 72 hours beforehand.
The weddings will be officiated by a Unity minister or a licensed lay leader. After the ceremony couples can partake in a cup cake reception and have their portrait taken by a professional photographer.
“UCSA supports marriage equality, and wants to champion same sex couples by providing this service to those wishing to be married as soon as possible after the ruling,” says Jennifer Shawker, Unity Church’s communications coordinator.
The idea for the event came about through the collaboration of church member Gail Johnson and minister Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett.
In a class held at the church Johnson shared a story about her son:
“My son lost his spouse to a sudden stroke on December 23, 2014. I felt fortunate that my son, who resided in a state where same sex marriage was legal, was able to provide end of life care to his beloved spouse as he had instructed. My hope was that all same sex couples could experience their freedom and right to the benefits available to heterosexual married couples, such as spousal health insurance benefits, Social Security benefits, spousal retirement and spousal survivor benefits. Most importantly, my hope was that everyone may experience the freedom and right to their pursuit of happiness in a loving and supportive committed relationship.”
Rev. Martella-Whitsett says the event has been in the planning for months before the Supreme Court ruling. “At Unity, we focus our attention, our thoughts, and our feelings, on the good. We hold a vision of the best outcome possible, and act as if that will occur. We planned this event as if there were no potential barriers to prevent it from occurring. This is the work of our inherent power of faith.”
Lesbian and gay weddings at Unity Church of San Antonio, 1723 W. Lawndale, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on July 4. There is a $25 fee and you must pre-register. Use this link for registration and additional information. The church’s phone number is 210-824-7351.
Driving directions: From Loop 410, exit Broadway. Go south on Broadway to the third traffic light and turn right. The sanctuary will be to your right.