Purple Unions Gay/Lesbian Wedding and Civil Union Vendor Directory

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Gay Friendly Palm Springs and California Deserts Wedding Vendors

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Note: Listings are ordered by vendor type, then by city.

Rainbow Wedding Company - Gay FriendlyOfficiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA

Rainbow Wedding Company
Rainbow Wedding Company, Palm Springs, CA, 92262, USA

Phone: 1 760 895-1436
Toll Free: 1 855 Same-Luv
Fax: 1 855 SameLuv
Contact: Lisa L. Phillian

Serving: Palm Springs/Palm Desert
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Rainbow Weddings was founded based on a concept of equality. We have exclusively served same sex couples for 10 years.... quietly, intimately and with respect, in all aspects of Gay Wedding Planning. Rainbow Weddings is a place where you can call and never have to say "oh by the way we are gay.... does that matter?"
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Joyful Wedding Ministers - Gay OwnedOfficiants in Palm Desert, CA, USA

Joyful Wedding Ministers
41801 Corporate Way #12, Palm Desert, CA, 92269, USA

Phone: 1 760 320-8141
Contact: Richard Cadieux

Serving: Palm Springs Region
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Greater Palm Springs Pride selected Rev. Richard Cadieux of Joyful Weddings to plan, perform, and coordinate every aspect of 27 back-to-back weddings performed during Pride 2013. You can trust Richard to create a personalized ceremony suited to your personalities and beliefs. With 900 weddings of experience, decades spent developing business relationships with gay-friendly vendors, and a wedding planner certification, Richard's prepared to help couples breeze through their wedding day stress-free.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

Bring That Beat Back - Gay FriendlyEntertainment in Moreno Valley, CA, USA

Bring That Beat Back
24716 Dunlavy Ct., Moreno Valley, CA, 92557, USA

Phone: 1 951 337-3121
Contact: Tony E

Serving: Orange County, Riverside County
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Entertainment in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Bring That Beat Back is a full service wedding Dj company. Providing quality wedding & reception music entertainment at affordable prices.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Gold Mountain Manor - Gay FriendlyEvent Location in Big Bear City, CA, USA

Gold Mountain Manor
1117 Anita Ave., Big Bear City, CA, 92314, USA

Phone: 1 909 585-6997
Toll Free: 1 800 509-2604
Fax: 1 909 585-0327
Contact: Cathy Weil

Serving: California
Purple Unions Disc: 5%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS, no holidays

Gay Wedding Event Location in Big Bear City, CA, USA. Gold Mountain Manor, combining old world charm and rustic mountain elegance makes this the most perfectly romantic and scenic location to have your special event. We can help you plan and arrange the entire ceremony and reception for 15 to 150 guests, including everything from officiant to food, from photographer to decorations. Let our historic B&B pamper you and your guests for the entire weekend!
USA, CA, Big Bear City - Gay Friendly

Sacred Sands - Gay OwnedEvent Location in Joshua Tree, CA, USA

Sacred Sands
63155 Quail Springs Rd, Joshua Tree, CA, 92252-9727, USA

Phone: 1 760 424-6407
Contact: Scott Cutler & Steve Pratt

Serving: California Desert
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Event Location in Joshua Tree, CA, USA. We were the first couple to marry at our home, Sacred Sands on October 26, 2008! The magnificent joy that filled our hearts on that day lead us to embrace the wedding business and strive to provide the best venue possible. We invite you to experience the magic of Sacred Sands (1 mile from the west entrance of Joshua Tree National Park) on the most important day of your lives! In love, Scott & Steve
USA, CA, Joshua Tree - Gay Owned

Joyful Weddings - Gay OwnedEvent Location in Palm Desert, CA, USA

Joyful Weddings
41801 Corporate Way #12, Palm Desert, CA, 92269, USA

Phone: 1 760 320-8141
Contact: Richard Cadieux

Serving: Palm Springs Region
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Event Location in Palm Desert, CA, USA. We know of 135 different wedding locations in the greater Palm Springs region. Outdoor ceremony sites abound. Intimate indoor locations also available. 950 weddings of experience since 2000. Need professional help finding a wedding ceremony location? Our consulting fees may be applied to an officiant and marriage license processing package.
USA, CA, Palm Desert - Gay Owned

My Little Flower Shop - Gay OwnedFlowers in Palm Springs, CA, USA

My Little Flower Shop
861 North Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 92262, USA

Phone: 1 760 778-7111
Contact: Gregory Goodman

Serving: Southern California
Purple Unions Disc: 10%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS

Gay Wedding Flowers in Palm Springs, CA, USA. As Palm Springs premiere florist and event planner, My Little Flower Shop is trusted to create beautiful, unique, personal weddings, special celebrations and every day arrangements for clients across Southern California. In Palm Springs and environs we have created hundreds of weddings, birthday celebrations, showers, anniversary parties, and all occasion/holiday bouquets, using only the finest flowers.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

BoVa Design - Gay OwnedFlowers in Palm Desert, CA, USA

BoVa Design
46230 Shadow Mountain Dr., Palm Desert, CA, 92260, USA

Phone: 1 323 810-8096
Contact: Bobbe Vagell

Serving: So. California
Purple Unions Disc: 10%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS

Gay Wedding Flowers in Palm Springs, CA, USA. BoVa Design is a unique specialized floral design company that takes pride in our quality and ability to personalize our clients requests. BoVa design is a gay owned floral design studio for 18 years. Bobbe and Todd are the designers and take charge in all our work. BoVa Design treats every event and order as if it was their own family. Welcome. Smile and have compassion!
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

The Bakers Oven - Gay OwnedFood & Beverage in Riverside, CA, USA

The Bakers Oven
6729 Indiana Ave., Riverside, CA, 92506, USA

Phone: 1 951 787-9811
Fax: 1 951 787-9860
Contact: J. Kirk Engrasci

Serving: Southern California
Purple Unions Disc: 5%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS

Gay Wedding Food & Beverage in Riverside, CA, USA. Our wedding cakes are created with classic elegance and unique design. Your choices of design may be made from our portfolio or we can create a custom design especially for you. Beauty isn't just in the style or decoration, it is also in the taste of your cake. All our cakes are freshly baked and never frozen. We offer a nice variety of cake flavors and mousse fillings that are deliciously moist and light.
USA, CA, Riverside - Gay Owned

David Andrew Salon - Gay OwnedHair / Beauty in Palm Springs, CA, USA

David Andrew Salon
1717 E. Vista Chino Rd. Ste. B-1, Palm Springs, CA, 92262, USA

Phone: 1 760 318-2663
Fax: 1 760 318-2294
Contact: David Yerks

Serving: Riverside County
Purple Unions Disc: 20%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS

Gay Wedding Hair / Beauty in Palm Springs, CA, USA. We are well known in the Palm Springs LGBT Community. Specializing in event hair styling, airbrushed makeup and spray tans for both men and women. Our makeup artist is a Certified Airbrush Makeup Artist and a member of International Makeup Artists. The makeup we use is water based and safe for all skin types. Waterproof as well as sweat proof makes the makeup ideal for the desert community.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

Casitas Laquita Resort - Lesbian OwnedHoneymoon Lodging in Palm Springs, CA, USA

Casitas Laquita Resort
450 E Palm Canyon Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 92264, USA

Phone: 1 760 416-9999
Fax: 1 760 416-5415
Contact: Joanna Funaro

Serving: Palm Springs
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Honeymoon Lodging in Palm Springs, CA, USA. The location is perfect for your wedding. Beautiful private hotel in central Palm Springs. Souring mountain views, large pool area. Very romantic studio casitas and suites. Reserve the entire hotel for your group. We will help you with all of your plans and arrangements. Leave the details to us. Casitas Laquita where memories begin.,
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Lesbian Owned

Rainbow Wedding Company - Gay FriendlyOfficiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA

Rainbow Wedding Company
Rainbow Wedding Company, Palm Springs, CA, 92262, USA

Phone: 1 760 895-1436
Toll Free: 1 855 Same-Luv
Fax: 1 855 SameLuv
Contact: Lisa L. Phillian

Serving: Palm Springs/Palm Desert
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Rainbow Weddings was founded based on a concept of equality. We have exclusively served same sex couples for 10 years.... quietly, intimately and with respect, in all aspects of Gay Wedding Planning. Rainbow Weddings is a place where you can call and never have to say "oh by the way we are gay.... does that matter?"
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Weddings by Pamela - Gay FriendlyOfficiants in Cathedral City, CA, USA

Weddings by Pamela
31855 Date Palm Dr., Ste. 3-415, Cathedral City, CA, 92234, USA

Phone: 1 760 861-1161
Contact: Pamela Fleming

Serving: Riverside, San Bernardino Counties
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. A wedding is a transition from the past to the future; gone in a moment, but remembered forever. It would be my privilege to help make your special day an enjoyable, happy, and memorable one.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Weddings by Dave - Gay OwnedOfficiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA

Weddings by Dave
1382 S Camino Real, Palm Springs, CA, 92264, USA

Phone: 1 707 336-2499
Contact: Dave

Serving: Palm Springs
Purple Unions Disc: 10%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS. Mon-Thu only

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Celebrating love and respect! Dave has been a devoted member of the LGBT community for more than 50 years. His care and passion for his community is unparalleled. "Whether an elopement, a small gathering or the social event of the year, I will give you the wedding of your dreams." -- Dave
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

Joyful Wedding Ministers - Gay OwnedOfficiants in Palm Desert, CA, USA

Joyful Wedding Ministers
41801 Corporate Way #12, Palm Desert, CA, 92269, USA

Phone: 1 760 320-8141
Contact: Richard Cadieux

Serving: Palm Springs Region
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Greater Palm Springs Pride selected Rev. Richard Cadieux of Joyful Weddings to plan, perform, and coordinate every aspect of 27 back-to-back weddings performed during Pride 2013. You can trust Richard to create a personalized ceremony suited to your personalities and beliefs. With 900 weddings of experience, decades spent developing business relationships with gay-friendly vendors, and a wedding planner certification, Richard's prepared to help couples breeze through their wedding day stress-free.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

Vows & Kisses - Gay OwnedOfficiants in Cathedral City, CA, USA

Vows & Kisses
68925 Lozano Ct, Cathedral City, CA, 92234, USA

Phone: 1 760 440-VOWS
Contact: Ron King

Serving: Palm Springs
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Officiants in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Ordained, Gay, Interfaith Minister passionate about what I do. I tailor each ceremony to a couple's personal tastes and preferences. Memorable ceremony is the foundation you build your marriage upon. It is based on your vows, the promises that you make to each other-sealed with a kiss. I am skilled in crafting unique and memorable ceremony rituals reflecting your love and relationship. Together we can create memories that will linger for a lifetime.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Owned

Michael Loeb Photography - Gay FriendlyPhotography / Videography in Palm Springs, CA, USA

Michael Loeb Photography
1502 S. Andee Dr., Palm Springs, CA, 92264, USA

Phone: 1 415 717-1220
Toll Free: 1 800 263-1330
Contact: Michael Loeb

Serving: Coachella Valley
Purple Unions Disc: No

Gay Wedding Photography / Videography in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Photography is creative, it's a joy to come up with ideas, it's more cutting edge to do things differently, the settings are fabulous and it's enjoyable meeting and working with the people. We now offer on the spot live streaming of your ceremony and/or reception which is available online for anyone in the world to watch for 90 days.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Glenn Currie Photography - Gay FriendlyPhotography / Videography in San Diego, CA, USA

Glenn Currie Photography
San Diego, CA, 92108, USA

Phone: 1 877 454-2012
Toll Free: 1 877 454-2012
Fax: 1 760 432-9404
Contact: Glenn or Bev

Serving: Palm Springs, Long Beach, San Diego
Purple Unions Disc: $25, Mention PURPLE UNIONS

Gay Wedding Photography / Videography in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Aussie, Glenn Currie introduced his documentary-photojournalistic approach to weddings ten years ago beginning a new trend in wedding photography. Always evolutionary, Glenn, his wife Bev and the rest of the team are a powerhouse of experience, talent and quality recognized among their peers as highly skilled artists. Their work has been commissioned by brides, event specialists, celebrities, and public figures in the U.S. and Australia. "Don't let the accent fool you, Mate!"
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Centerstage Wedding and Event Planning - Gay FriendlyPlanners in Yucca Valley, CA, USA

Centerstage Wedding and Event Planning
7579 Aster Ave, Yucca Valley, CA, 92284, USA

Phone: 1 760 401-0838
Fax: 1 760 418-5070
Contact: Tammy Baker

Serving: SoCal, Inland Empire, Los Angeles
Purple Unions Disc: 10%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS, Base price only, can't combine offers

Gay Wedding Planners in Palm Springs, CA, USA. First off, Congratulations! We will plan your whole wedding or just the parts stressing you out. By finding everything you need like all your vendors. We will drive from our office to meet with you and plan your big day. We are as excited to help you with your day as you are to have it! We want to help make it all you hope for.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Gay Friendly

Celebrations of Joy - Lesbian OwnedPlanners in La Quinta, CA, USA

Celebrations of Joy
50855 Washington St Ste C-330, La Quinta, CA, 92253, USA

Phone: 1 310 795-7305
Contact: Cathy O'Connell

Serving: Southern California
Purple Unions Disc: 10%, Mention PURPLE UNIONS

Gay Wedding Planners in Palm Springs, CA, USA. Company founders, wedding designers and married couple Cathy O'Connell & Dorry Wynham create extraordinary experiences to celebrate life's special moments! Destination Wedding and Event Specialists, we bring our passion for fabulous design, our talent for seamless execution, our commitment to joy and our personalized loving touch to weddings and events worldwide! Based in both Palm Springs Area and Los Angeles, our unique talents and diverse backgrounds help us create exceptional events worldwide.
USA, CA, Palm Springs - Lesbian Owned

As a gay couple together since 1992, we believe that marriage and all the responsibilities and benefits that come with it should be available to committed gay and lesbian couples everywhere. So we created Purple Unions, a place where gay and lesbian couples can find gay friendly wedding vendors to help them plan their perfect wedding day.

California passed a domestic partnership bill in 1999, and expanded it in 2001 and 2003. In 2000, Proposition 22, a legal ban on gay marriage, passed. In 2004, San Francisco welcomed gay and lesbian couples, and 4,000+ couples married, but the CA Supreme Court shut down the weddings. In June 2008, the State Supreme Court brought marriage equality California. Thousands married, but then Prop 8 passed in November. A lawsuit ultimately reached the US Supreme Court, and in June 2013 Prop 8 was repealed.

Gay and lesbian couples can also adopt in California.

Wedding Vendor Listings: Just $99 for 12 Months - Click Here


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Gay Marriage Laws in Palm Springs and California Deserts

Relationship Recognition: Full Marriage Equality
Out of State Recognition: Yes
Adoption: Yes

If we know about any local marriage equality events, we'll list them here.

Palm Springs: Aug 10, 2014, Palm Springs Equality Awards Kickoff Party, Rivieria Resort and Spa, 6 PM. Details

Palm Springs: Sep 14, 2014, Palm Springs Equality Awards Kickoff Party 2, Rivieria Resort and Spa, 6 PM. Details

Palm Springs: Oct 18, 2014, Palm Springs Equality Awards, Riviera Resort, 6 PM. Details


Gay Marriage News


Gay Marriage News in California

California Conversion Therapy Ban Survives Challenge

Jul 1st, 2014

The California conversion therapy ban survived a legal challenge as the US Supreme Court refused to take on the case. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for enforcement of a first-of-its-kind California law that bars psychological counseling aimed at turning gay minors straight. The justices turned aside a legal challenge brought by supporters of so-called... read_more

The Case Against 8 Premieres Tonight

Jun 23rd, 2014

HBO's documentary "The Case Against 8" premiers tonight on HBO. The documentary covers the legal fight against Prop 8, and some have accused the documentary of being too one-sided. HBO's been on a bit of a gay tear lately, withBehind the Candelabra, The Normal Heart, and now this show. Here's the trailer:

... read_more

USA, California: The Case Against 8 Trailer Released

May 2nd, 2014

The new trailer for the Case Against 8 has been released. Dot 429 reports: "The Case Against 8" takes an inside look at the groundbreaking Supreme Court case that overturned Proposition 8, California's ban on same-sex marriage. Five years in the making, with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the powerhouse legal team of Ted Olson and David Boies, who previously faced... read_more

Prop 8 Defense Lawyer Evolving on Marriage Equality

Apr 17th, 2014

The lawyer who argued before the Supreme Court in favor of upholding California's ban on gay marriage learned while he was handling the case that one of his children is gay and now is helping her plan her wedding with another woman. Attorney Charles Cooper says his view of same-sex marriage is evolving after having argued in court that gay... read_more

Silicon Valley's Prop 8 Donations By Company

Apr 5th, 2014

In the wake of Mozilla CEO Brandon Eich's departure, gay uber statistician Nate Silver breaks down how Silicon Valley donated its money in the Prop 8 initiative race. Joe.My.God reports:

The list includes Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Cisco Systems, Apple, Google, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Oracle, Yahoo, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Symantec. I limited the search to donors who listed California as... read_more

USA: Ninth Circuit May Re-Hear Gay Juror Case

Mar 28th, 2014

OK, so it sounds a little boring, but this is important - apparently at least one judge in the Ninth Circuit wants a re-hearing on the "gay juror" case. Equality in Trial explains:

The Ninth Circuit is asking all the parties in SmithKline Beecham v. Abbott Laboratories to file briefs telling the court whether it should rehear the case en banc,... read_more

USA, California: Anti Gay Group Goes to Court to Revive Anti Transgender Initiative

Mar 26th, 2014

An anti gay group is going to court to challenge the state's count of signatures for an initiative to repeal the bill that offers protections to transgender kids in schools. LGBTQ Nation reports:

The Pacific Justice Institute, a Christian legal group, announced Tuesday that it has filed papers in Sacramento Superior Court seeking a court order that would compel Secretary... read_more

USA, California: Opponents of Transgender Kids Law Not Giving Up

Mar 17th, 2014

Opponents of the new law to protect transgender kids in California are still trying to find a way to quality for the ballot. SDGLN reports:

Opponents of a new law that allows transgender students a choice of which restroom and locker room to use are scouring thousands of signatures that were tossed out in San Diego County and elsewhere, hoping... read_more

USA, California: Effort to Repeal Transgender Kids Law Failing So Far

Feb 20th, 2014

This just in from Equality California: -------- All kids should have the opportunity to do well in school and graduate. It's that simple, really. We promised to keep you updated on the status of a referendum attempt to overturn the School Success and Opportunity Act, or AB 1266, the law that came into effect on January 1 and ensures all kids can go... read_more

USA, California: Seventh Grader Makes Adordable Stop-Motion Marriage Equality Video

Feb 12th, 2014

A seventh grader in Los Angeles made this adorable animation video about marriage equality. Towleroad.com reports:

Scarlett Dennis, a 7th grader from Los Angeles, has created an artistic statement in support of same-sex marriage that demands to be seen. HuffPost reported on the young artist, whose minute-long stop-motion animated film, "The Story of Larry and Gerald," is a poignant and... read_more

USA, California: Ex-Gay Ban Appealed to Supreme Court

Feb 5th, 2014

California's ex-gay therapy ban will remain on hold as opponents file an appeal to the US Supreme Court. Joe.My.God reports:

Last week the Ninth Circuit Court refused to consider the Liberty Counsel's en banc appeal to overturn California's ban on the "ex-gay" torture of LGBT youth. But the Ninth has now delayed the implementation of the ban while the Liberty... read_more

USA, California: Ninth Circuit Again Upholds Ex Gay Therapy Ban

Jan 30th, 2014

The full ninth circuit has upheld the legality of a ban on "conversion therapy" for minors that a 3 judge panel previously upheld. The BAR reports:

California's ban on gay conversion therapy for minors will remain in place after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday (January 29) denied a rehearing by the full court. A three-judge panel of... read_more

USA, Utah: Prop 8 Documentary Wins Prize at Sundance

Jan 26th, 2014

Great news out of Utah (what is it with Utah and marriage equality news these days?). Joe.My.God reports:

Yesterday The Case Against 8 won the Best Documentary Direction prize at the Sundance Film Festival. The Case Against 8 / U.S.A. (Directors: Ben Cotner, Ryan White) -- A behind-the-scenes look inside the case to overturn California's ban on same-sex marriage. Shot... read_more

USA, California: Caterer Who Discriminated Against Gay Couple Could Escape Consequences

Jan 9th, 2014

A California caterer who refuse to serve a gay couple for their wedding might be small enough to avoid any consequences. On Top Magazine reports:

A California catering business that refused to serve a gay couple might be small enough to avoid the state's anti-discrimination laws... Zimmerman's catering company, Janet Zimmerman Catering, operates mainly on Facebook, possibly making her outfit... read_more

USA, California: Effort to Repeal Transgender Kids Law Survives First Count

Jan 9th, 2014

Although an initial count of signatures revealed the effort to repeal California's new law that protects transgender kids in schools didn't have enough signatures to qualify, it did eke out enough for full recount. The Advocate reports:

Since the deadline for turning in signatures this past November, the office of California’s secretary of state has been performing a spot-check to... read_more

USA, California: Christian Caterer Refuses to Serve Gay Couple

Jan 8th, 2014

A same-sex couple got a rude surprise when they tried to book the services of a California caterer for their wedding. The Advocate reports:

On November 26, Kama Kaina contacted Janet Zimmerman Catering with a request to cater his wedding to his longtime partner, Mathew Rivera. Zimmerman, who had been recommended by the couple's planned venue in Big Bear, Calif.,... read_more

Prop 8 Ruling Could Be Just Days Away

Jun 10th, 2013

We're counting down the days to a Supreme Court ruling on Prop 8. Marriage may go to voters in Ohio, but there's some dispute over timing. New polls show ongoing progress in California and across the nation. And New Mexico's Attorney General addresses the challenges to the state's marriage ban. Authored By Matt Baume - See the Full Story... read_more

California: Governor Brown Signs Bill Protecting Churches' Religious Rights on Marriage Equality

Oct 1st, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed Senate Bill 1140 (Religious Freedom in Marriage Solemnization), authored by Sen. Mark Leno and co-sponsored by Equality California and California Council of Churches IMPACT. The new law, which will go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, reaffirms the freedom of clergy to make faith-based decisions regarding which marriages they solemnize and clarifies that those decisions have... read_more

Love Honor Cherish Begins Gathering Signatures to Repeal Prop 8

Jan 18th, 2012

As the fight to repeal Proposition 8 on the November ballot begins, Love Honor Cherish has partnered with the NOH8 Campaign to create a public education campaign telling voters why marriage equality is important. The partnership will launch at a party being organized by nonprofit group "Reason to Party" in San Francisco this Sunday, Jan. 22. Love Honor Cherish was formed in... read_more

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Some images from the slideshow above provided by Candace Freeland at Blue Pearl Images, used with permission