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On Filling A Void

DC marriage equalityWe were recently interviewed by Zack Rosen (of thenewgayway.net — a great new site) for a premiere section supplement to the Washington Post Magazine called DC LGBT Quarterly. The section featured various business owners and economic topics pertaining to Washington D.C.

For those of you who missed it, here’s what we had to say:

Though the lesbian-owned GayWeddings.com is based in Arlington, it is for a less-frustrating reason than McAllister noted: that is simply where its president, Kathryn Hamm, lives with her partner. Hamm’s straight mother founded the company 11 years ago in Texas when she was frustrated at her inability to find something as simple as a lesbian wedding album for the occasion of Hamm and her partner’s commitment ceremony. The business originally existed as two separate online boutiques — twobrides.com and twogrooms.com — until they were able to acquire the current web address in 2005.

Though Hamm saw a large uptick in traffic when marriages were legalized in DC, it has not changed the core mission that the site has had the whole time. In providing products, resources and information to same-sex couples tying the knot, they are further legitimizing all LGBT people as individuals with the same lives, desires, and, yes, financial resources as any other demographic.

“Some of our most important work, very early on, was helping folks see and understand that this is a very hungry market,” Hamm said. “Couples weren’t being served. Whether these were legal ceremonies or not, couples were still tying the knot.”

Interestingly, the site’s top five traffic-heavy states are ones where couples cannot yet legally marry. Not only are these states shortsighted in their opinions on human rights, but they are missing out on some excellent sources of capital in a struggling economy.

“States that are first to the books stand to make the most economically,” Hamm said. “We’ve got some interesting market results to see as California winds it ways through the Prop 8 story.”

 

Excerpt from “Filling a Void,” DC LGBT Quarterly, October 10, 2010 by Zack Rosen.