Valentine’s Day event to make statement on same-sex marriage

by Tomas Lopez Melis

The almost exclusively heterosexual-marketed holiday of Valentine’s Day is typically accompanied with a romantic date, and the classic box of chocolates.

This year, Miami is offering a not-so-typical Valentine’s Day event to its lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and trans-gender community, (commonly known as the LGBT community). The Miami-Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, in association with Miami’s Jungle Island are hosting Commit 2 Love, a commitment ceremony and reception on February 14 at 6 p.m. at the Jungle Island Tree Top Ballrooms. LGBT couples will be able to publicly pronounce their love for each other in a commitment ceremony similar to a typical wedding.

Although the couples will not be legally recognized as married, Michael Vita of the Miami Dade Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce thinks it’s still worth it. “Anything like this that we do is one step closer toward equality for our community.” Vita said. “By people standing up to commit to each other, it makes the statement that we are ready to take the step toward a long term relationship, like anyone else in America.”

Stonewall 2 BBC (the LGBT support club at the Biscayne bay Campus) members shared their thoughts on the Valentines Day Commit 2 Love Ceremony.  Stonewall’s President Danny Anzueto, a senior in psychology says he ‘thinks it’s an amazing concept” and he is, “very excited to hear that they’re doing a domestic partnership event”.
“It would be nice to have a marriage event, rather than a commitment ceremony, but the fact they are doing this shows support for the LGBT community,” said Anzueto.

Stonewall is following this concept with a similar event on Feb 25 with the S2B Marriage event at BBC. The event will allow for same sex couples to take part in a public commitment ceremony on the campus.
Although the road to equality seems long, events like the Commit 2 Love Ceremony, and S2B’s marriage event demonstrate there is a growing interest in the LGBT community having equal marriage rights.

The LGBT community’s effort in a commitment ceremony on Valentine’s Day is a challenge to traditional values being redefined through events like these.  Elise Withbrs, Stonewall’s Vice president, and a junior in advertising said, “Everyone wants to say something special to the person they love, whether they are a man or a woman.”