California is the epicenter of the nation’s gay wedding industry, with thousands of gay men choosing to walk down the aisle and marry on the same day.
The state’s ban on gay marriage was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court last year, leaving gay couples with no legal recourse to change the status quo.
But for gay men in California, the ban on same-sex marriage has been an impediment to their happiness.
While the state is now the seventh most populous in the country, its gay wedding market has remained largely flat in recent years.
A recent report by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation found that only a small number of gay weddings in California are conducted on the weekend, and that in 2017, just one wedding was held at the state’s three largest venues, the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Caressant in San Francisco.
California has also been a leader in legalizing same-gender marriage, but many gays and lesbians remain uneasy with the process.
In fact, the vast majority of gay marriage proponents in California do not support the idea, while some see the state as the most anti-LGBT in the nation, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“The LGBT community has suffered a lot over the past 20 years,” said James Hagg, a San Francisco-based gay man who was ordained as a priest by St. Peter’s Cathedral in 2013.
“When they say, ‘Oh, they’re gay’ or ‘Oh they’re lesbian,’ they’re talking about a minority group.
But when you get a majority of people supporting you, you have a problem.
You have to change your mind.”
Gay wedding venues in California have been a mainstay of the state for decades.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, gay wedding venues have been operating in California since 1971.
“If you’ve been in the business long enough, you know that the law is the law,” said Chris Mott, owner of the Gay City Hall in Los Angeles, who owns a wedding venue called “The Wedding of Love.”
“There’s no need to try to change it.
If you want to have a gay wedding, you can do it at your own wedding.
There’s no discrimination against the LGBT community.”
Gay couples can’t choose which venue they choose, but couples can choose the theme of their wedding.
And, according the San Mateo County Register, in 2017 alone, couples across the state had a total of nearly 1,700 weddings held.
Mott said the most common theme for gay weddings is “celebrity weddings,” with many couples choosing a variety of events like a bachelor party, engagement parties, and bridal showers.
“We had some people who wanted to do something that’s really different than a traditional wedding,” Mott said.
“It was more for the gay wedding people who are not going to go to the traditional wedding, but they wanted to have the same event.”
But for some, the stigma surrounding gay marriage has become a barrier to their desire to get married.
“I think it’s a little unfair that we’re told that we can’t get married because of our sexuality,” said Michael, a gay man from Los Angeles.
“In reality, we have a lot of support for each other, but it’s kind of hard to be in a same-status marriage, especially when it’s happening at a gay bar.”
Michael, who said he wants to get his wife to have sex with him, said the stigma around gay marriage made him feel like he couldn’t marry someone of the same sex.
“If I get married, I’m married to the person I want to be with,” he said.
“I’m not against gay marriage.
I’m against any type of discrimination,” said Stacey, a lesbian who works at a bar in San Diego.
“But if I have to go through all the stuff, I think it takes a toll.
I think I’ve gotten used to the stigma.
I don’t think it was a big thing before.
But now it’s like, ‘OK, we’ll see how things go.'”
For gay men, being in a relationship is not a choice, but rather a matter of survival.
“The problem is, I can’t really say that I feel any better because I’m not married,” said Alex, who did not want to give his last name.
“A lot of gay people in our community, they don’t want to marry.”
Gay marriage proponents say that the issue of same-activity-status discrimination is more complicated than that.
“This is about whether or not you can make it on your own,” said Mott.
“What is the point of having a same sex marriage?
It’s just a ceremony, it’s just about getting married.
The idea that you can get married at your place of employment or with someone of your own sex doesn’t make