Ronnie Whitworth and Richard Parker

Two years ago Ronnie Whitworth and Richard Parker met for the first time at Pridefest in Birmingham. They also were introduced to the Magic City Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Since that time they have become involved with the organization, which according to its web site seeks to “strengthen its community through drag activism, by raising much-needed funds for community charities, and by bringing about a better understanding of gay spirituality.”

With that being said, it is obvious that to be a part of that organization means you have a compassionate and loving soul. Ronnie and Richard certainly do, and it was only natural that they would come to love each other, and they did.

Ronnie and Richard with President Obama at the Why Marriage Matters Alabama booth at Pridefest on their wedding day

Ronnie and Richard had a desire to publicly acknowledge their love, and Why Marriage Matters Alabama thought it would be a good idea for them to allow their ceremony to be a part of Central Alabama Pride’s Pridefest. Central Alabama Pride added the ceremony as an opening to the day long event.

Before family and friends, and in the midst of last minute sound checks and equipment placement on the stage, Ronnie and Richard were joined in a beautiful wedding ceremony officiated by Sister Gretchen Gitaround (who has the credentials to perform such a ceremony).

Ronnie and Richard being married.

Here are Richard’s vows.

“People everyday look for that one person, their soul mate, best friend and lover. In you I have found these things. We stand here today to show everyone that God has chosen us to be together. Today I promise to you, to give my heart and dedication, for now and always.”

And here are Ronnie’s vows.

“For as long as I have been here on this great big blue marble floating in space, I have wanted to find the one. The one I could laugh with, smile with, and live my life for. I have found the one who holds these traits and more. We met here at Pride two years ago, and joined our chosen family in the Sisters together last year. As we stand here in the sight of our friends, family, and community, we are joined in life in their eyes and in the eyes of an all loving God.”

Ronnie and Richard understand that their wedding is not recognized in this state or by the Federal government. They realize that they are missing 1,138 benefits, rights and privileges that are bestowed on couples who are legally married.

Even so, they wanted to marry. Their wedding was not about rights. It was about love and commitment and becoming a family.

They asked on their invitation, “Do you believe in Marriage Equality? Do you want to finally see it happen in Alabama?”

This wedding will be a start, they said, following with “This wedding is to show that ALL PEOPLE, no matter Gay, Straight, White, Black, Man, Woman, and Transsexual should be able to enter into the union of Marriage. Marriage is a show of love between two people.”

Why Marriage Matters Alabama agrees, and wishes Ronnie and Richard a long and happy life together.

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