One of the highlights for me of the annual Atlanta Pride Celebration is the commitment ceremony and this year there were dozens of African-American gay and lesbian couples that pledged their love for each other publicly before God and hundreds of spectators.
Riding high on the recent California Supreme Court ruling that granted marriage equality to gay and lesbian couples, this year's ceremony while only symbolic in the state of Georgia where there is a constitutional ban prohibiting gay marriage, adopted a more serious tone as many couples were planning to head west following the Atlanta ceremony to legalize their unions.
I had the pleasure of interviewing three black gay and lesbian couples that have been together for over 5 years combined. Kevin & Dante (pictured top), Messiah & Melissa (pictured middle), and Lavenia & Shawn (pictured bottom).
I attended the event hoping to meet just one black gay or lesbian couple and was overjoyed when I saw that so many of us were involved in committed relationships and were taking the leap into marriage.
I asked the couples why they'd decided to participate in the commitment ceremony given the fact the state of Georgia would not recognize their union and how they felt about those in the black gay community who believe marriage equality is a white gay issue.
Their answers were a breath of fresh air.
I was particularly moved by the openness of Dante & Kevin as they talked about their relationship, their family's reaction and why marriage equality is a black gay issue.
So Jasmyne Cannick doesn't speak for us all.
These couples are inspiring and have proven that healthy and fulfilling gay and lesbian relationships are attainable. Thanks guys for sharing your stories and your special day with me.
Get into the video footage of the ceremony below and check out pics from Atlanta Pride 2008 here.