Yes, it's a very last-minute invitation, but Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church in Costa Mesa hosts free weddings for same-sex couples Saturday. The congregation for humanists, agnostics, deists, atheists, pagans, Christians, Muslims, monotheists, pantheists, polytheists or no ists at all is opening its doors to celebrate last week's Supreme Court ruling allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in California.
They're talking the whole shebang for couples wanting to walk down the aisle: minister, musicians, audio visuals, hair zhuzhing and 100 seats in a decorated church for guests.
The church is at 2845 Mesa Verde Drive East in Costa Mesa. Hurry and contact Beth Syverson at email@example.com to see if you can still be squeezed in.
In honor of the Supreme Court rulings on Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Santa Ana-based travel site and company Tahiti.com is also offering free weddings to same-sex couples--on the islands of Tahiti.
The special "Free to Love" promotion includes the following resorts (and wedding ceremonies): Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa (Ipoipo Wedding Ceremony); Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island Resort (Traditional Wedding Ceremony); Hilton Bora Bora Nui Resort & Spa (Opuhi Wedding Ceremony); Le Meridien Bora Bora Resort (Romantic Ceremony); InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Intimate Blessings Ceremony); Le Taha'a Island Resort & Spa (Te Vanira Wedding Ceremony).
The best part is, couples will have already arrived at their honeymoon destination, which is probably the point to all this, especially when you discover Tahiti.com's $500 credit toward the wedding ceremony is valid on any minimum seven-night stay, including airfare and accommodations, booked with the company through July 31, for travel by March 31, 2014.
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If you have any lingering questions about what the Supremes' decisions mean to same-sex couples, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Southern California office offers a handy online guide.
Equality California, Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights partnered with the ACLU to produce the guide that answers such questions as:
• What do we have to do to marry in California? • Will domestic partnerships in California continue to exist? • If my partner and I are from another state and marry in California, will our marriage be valid in our home state? • If my partner and I married in another state, will California recognize our marriage? • Will the federal government recognize marriages of same-sex couples in California? • For same-sex couples in bi-national relationships, will getting married in California permit a non-U.S. citizen to gain legal permanent residence in the U.S.? • Can a private business--such as a florist, photographer, or event space--refuse to provide space or a service for me wedding because I am marrying a person of the same sex? • Can my employer deny my same-sex spouse the same employment benefits that different-sex spouses receive?
The ACLU says the guide was created with both the Prop 8 and DOMA rulings in mind but confesses more ramifications are being sorted out when it comes to federal law changes. The curious are encouraged to look out for future ACLU guides drilling down on DOMA.