When I announced a little over a year ago that I wanted QSaltLake to give away a gay wedding, there was a hush in the room for a moment, then a bunch of smiles overtook the faces looking at me. It was only the beginning of the smiles we would see as we spread the word around.
One wedding down and ready to tackle our second, we put the word out in December to make your case as to why you should be awarded this year’s wedding ceremony. The first response we received was from a couple who came in a close-second for last year’s choice.
And here they are on top this year.
I first met Kamrin in 2004, just before we printed our very first issue. Somehow he’d heard about us before we even hit the streets and told us that he was scheduled to go onto Dr. Phil with his then-wife on an episode dealing with “mixed-orientation marriage.”
The news producers at KUTV found out that a local man would be on Dr. Phil by reading the pages of this newspaper (after they sobered up from our launch party).
Kamrin was just coming out at the age of 23 and was doing it in a big way.
He met Manuel shortly after that and together they began jumping hurdle after hurdle thrown at them.
“At the time when we met, my family was in shock over the fact that their first member in six generations had not only left the LDS faith, but that he was leaving his wife for a man,” Kamrin said. “We have worked over the years to go from not even being welcome in their homes to now being fully embraced and supported by most every member of the family.”
Then came the issue of Manuel’s immigration status.
“Had we been a straight couple, a marriage would have kept Manuel in the country without any hassle, but because of our situation, the hoops, money and legal efforts over the last six years have been the most daunting of tasks to overcome,” Kamrin said.
Manuel earned his U.S. citizenship in the latter part of 2010, something that would have been a quick run to elope in Las Vegas for a heterosexual couple.
The couple now has three children — Kamrin’s biological son and an adopted boy and girl. Because of Utah law, only Kamrin could adopt the two younger children and only if Manuel was not living with him.
The two decided to wait until all of these issues and more were ironed out for a day that they could celebrate their monumental triumph.
So, in the next few weeks, they will join each other in front of family and friends, recite vows and … while they won’t be wed in the eyes of the state, they will be wed in each others’ eyes and the eyes of those they love.
They are currently making the big decisions of the day — who will be the wedding planner, where the wedding will take place, what the invitations will look like, and much more that they have yet to consider.
As they do, we will be right there and will print their progress in these pages.
See their entry letter here.
If you are interested in participating in the wedding giveaway by donating items or services to the couple, please contact Brad Di Iorio at 801-649-6663, ext. 111.