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Sunday, December 03, 2023

The rain couldn’t ruin their wedding day.

Seventeen couples braved a chilly rain storm to pretend to get hitched Friday in front of Library West.

The event, Queerly Beloved, was a mock wedding ceremony for predominantly same-sex couples.

Queerly Beloved was sponsored by UF’s Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs in honor of National Freedom to Marry Day, which took place Feb. 12.

Rather than taking each other as lawfully wedded spouses, the couples vowed to accept, affirm and support any couple’s freedom to marry.

Evan Lauteria, senior secretary for the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs, said different incarnations of the event have been happening at UF since 2004.

Couples were joined in any kind of partnership they wanted, from lovers or best friends to “amazing Latina ally cuties.”

Fake wedding certificates were provided by the Office of Multicultural and Diversity Affairs.

Rev. Meredith Garmon, a minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, and Rev. Jim Merritt, of the Trinity Metropolitan Community Church of Gainesville, performed the ceremonies.

Garmon read the vows of commitment, acceptance and support as Whitney Blake, a senior sociology major and vice president of outreach for Pride Student Union, held the hands of her girlfriend, Alyssa Mullins.

“We hope that one day we can actually marry,” Blake said. “If it’s not to each other, [it should be to] whoever we want.”

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