RainbowWeddingNetwork.com was launched in September 2000 as the first wedding gift registry in the world dedicated to gay & lesbian couples. The company’s resources have evolved throughout the past decade, however its mission remains: to serve as a bridge for gay and lesbian couples and their allies to access the resources they need to successfully plan their weddings, free from discrimination. To this end, RainbowWeddingNetwork.com provides a diversity of resources for the online LGBT community, including an extensive Directory of over 5000 screened wedding, travel, home and family-related businesses, the nation’s first Print Magazine specifically geared toward gay and lesbian weddings and the issues of marriage and family rights, and LGBT Wedding Expos produced throughout the United States.
In the past 13 years since the launch of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, there have been great strides toward equal rights in marriage for the gay minority in America; however recent years also mark the passage of significant anti-gay legislation in certain states, and of course ongoing heated dialogue about the validity of marriage as a legitimate civil rights issue. More than that, the LGBT community continues to be a minority targeted rigorously by conservative groups that aim to disallow gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans the rights and responsibilities of marriage, the joy of adoption and family rights and other equalities and protections inherent to other citizens under the law.
This means that, more than ever, the resources of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com are vital. By choosing to invest its annual purchasing power of over $600 billion with companies that are screened and actively stand up for Gay Equality, the LGBT minority can effect a strong economic impact in states all across the country. With an advertiser base of well over 6000 businesses, RainbowWeddingNetwork.com provides immediate access to such companies for LGBT couples, their advocates and allies. By supporting one another in the motions toward marriage rights, we will ensure that Equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans becomes inevitable.
Furthermore, by providing a degree of legitimization for gay & lesbian couples through social networking, articles and by producing Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expos in states all across the nation, RainbowWeddingNetwork provides the means for a public presence concerning the issues of same-sex marriage and family rights. This is key to the infrastructure of support for gay and lesbian couples, as well as for the businesses and allies that stand up for non-discrimination. It also serves to bring a strong sense of public recognition to the realities of same-sex relationships and the realities of life in America for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered citizens. This ‘softer’ side of the work of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com is no less valid and of no less import with regard to the ultimate enactment of Equal Rights for the LGBT minority in America, and therefore remains a vital facet of the company’s ongoing mission.
Photo: RWN Founders Marianne Puechl & Cindy Sproul at the Cambridge LGBT Wedding Expo, 2005
Image by Nicole Friedler