KATIE SHORT AND KIMBERLY KIDWELL
Yesterday, we brought you the story of Equality House in Topeka, Kansas, seeking out same-sex couples who would consider holding their wedding at the rainbow-painted LGBT Center. Aaron Jackson, one of the founders of Planting Peace, the charitable organization headquartered at Equality House, said they received five serious replies. Katie Short and Kimberly Kidwell, from Little Rock, Arkansas, were chosen to be the first couple to marry on the front lawn, in full view of the gay-hating denizens of the Westboro Baptist Church, conveniently located directly across the street.
Kimberly and Katie have been together five years, but they appear to have made the spontaneous decision to marry at Equality House after learning about the search for same-sex couples. Kimberly, who is a paramedic, no doubt used to working under pressure, announced their engagement on Facebook just six short days ago. Since then preparations have been fast and furious. Fortunately, reports are that many local businesses have donated goods and services for the happy event.
“Are you a precious, committed, in love LGBTQ couple who would be interested in having your presently “illegal” marriage in our front yard this summer? If you or someone you know is interested in making a landmark statement in the fight for marriage equality please contact us at email@example.com”
“Is anyone in the Topeka area a wedding/event planner or have relevant experience in doing so and can donate their time and gifts?!? Please contact us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org”
Equality House has also been busy sprucing up their rainbow digs, replacing what they called “sunken-in garage sale couches” with a more upscale decor, courtesy of Twigs Interiors. Judging by the photos, the place is now fit for a wedding.
There is no word yet whether Westboro Baptist Church will be updating their protest signs for the wedding day, or if they will stick with their tried and true “God Hates Fags” message. I’d suggest something in ivory with a lace border, and maybe two interlocking blue garters representing the bride’s wedding rings. But perhaps the wedding coordinator could better consult with the Church on the protest motif and color coordination.
Attempts to telepathically contact Westboro’s head pastor Fred Phelps to ask if his family would be sending the brides a congratulatory wedding gift were not immediately successful. (But I think we all know the answer.)
Photos are from Equality House Facebook Page.
Portrait of Kimberly and Katie is from Kimberly Kidwell’s Facebook page.
Jean Ann Esselink is a straight friend to the gay community. Proud and loud Liberal. Closet writer of political fiction. Black sheep agnostic Democrat from a conservative Catholic family. Living in Northern Oakland County Michigan with Puck the Wonder Beagle.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.