Straight Mom Speaks From The Heart (9-16-05)

For Immediate Release

September 16, 2005

Straight Mom Speaks “From The Heart” To Encourage Marriage Equality

FROM THE HEART, a new CD to be released on September 20, 2005 in anticipation of Connecticut’s recognition of Civil Unions for same sex couples beginning October 1, features 18 talented independent artists and excerpts from moving testimonials, and aims to break down barriers through song in support of the freedom to love and right to marry.

Dallas, TX (September 16, 2005) — “Straight people are in their own type of closet,” says Gretchen Hamm. When her daughter told her that she would be getting married and had finally set a date, Gretchen Hamm was thrilled. But then she realized that she wasn’t sure how to tell her friends that her daughter was marrying a woman, not a man. “The more I talked about the fact that I had a daughter who was getting married, the more I came to realize that, at some point, I’d have to say, ‘Oh, she’s marrying a woman.’ It was confronting for me to start doing that because I never knew what my listener thought.”

Mrs. Hamm soon realized that others felt the same way. “Most often they’d go, “oh my sisters gay, my best friend’s gay, my uncle’s gay… it was like opening the flood gates for people to talk about what they can’t talk about!” Mrs. Hamm, owner of www.TwoBrides.com & www.TwoGrooms.com, founded her online wedding boutiques for GLBT couples long before it was vogue, and is just one of the sincere voices featured on the new CD, FROM THE HEART.

FROM THE HEART will be released on September 20, 2005 and is a creative partnership between the Wedding Party and Tone 1 Music Group. “This CD has 18 talented artists, who identify as straight and gay, are influenced by several different genres (including pop, rock, folk, ballads, gospel, R&B, dance), and all of them have generously donated their songs for everyone’s right to marry,” says producer, Mykel.

“Creating this CD was a real labor of love,” says associate producer Jason Kadlec. This unique listening experience unites real voices with song, weaving together into one huge story about love. “This collection of songs,” says Kathryn Hamm, lesbian daughter of Gretchen and another featured voice on the CD, “is made all the more powerful by the excerpts of personal stories which introduce each song.”

“FROM THE HEART has real emotion with refreshing insights and it reveals an important key to ending discrimination: communication,” says Renee Rotkopf, Executive Director of The Wedding Party, a non-profit organization based in New York City, which celebrates same-sex partnership and educates the public on the need for equal marriage rights.

“FROM THE HEART creates conversations,” says Anthony Brown, Director of Development for the Wedding Party. “It’s an effort that The Wedding Party knows will inspire Americans and others around the world to speak out and support every one’s right to marry.”

Åsa Rydman, a Swedish-born singer and songwriter whose songs were featured in the film, “Funny Valentine,” starring Anthony Michael Hall, and who counts Queen Silva amongst her former audience members, performs “Seeds of Love” on the CD. “I believe,” she says, “that music can enlighten people’s souls, build bridges between people, and be a means to celebrate love.”

Another contributing artist, Deena Noroian, who has performed as an opening act for Pat Benatar, puts it quite simply: “To me, equality is just an obvious means to a civilized society. It’s so plain and simple. I don’t understand what all the resistance is about.”

For additional information, contact:

Mykel, 917-532-7199

About From The Heart:

The Wedding Party, Tone 1 Music Group, and its producers, Mykel and Jason Kadlec, are excited to announce the September 20 release of FROM THE HEART. This compilation of songs by various artists is an expression of support and solidarity for equal rights for marriage across the globe. The CD incorporates a number of interviews from various individuals speaking out on the need to recognize the right for marriage for all people regardless of belief, gender or sexual orientation. Song samples from FROM THE HEART are available at http://www.cdbaby.com/weddingparty.

About The Wedding Party:

The Wedding Party is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, which supports and celebrates same-sex partnership and educates the public on the need for equal marriage rights. The Wedding Party is comprised of skilled professionals in the areas of marketing, media, special events and the law, and harnesses its talents to produce unique, high profile events developed to assemble the community to give testimony on a national level to the importance of family, commitment and equality.

About TwoBrides.com / TwoGrooms.com:

In 1999, the daughter of company founder Gretchen Hamm married her partner in a commitment ceremony amongst friends and family, inspiring “Mother of a Bride,” Gretchen, to start an online company, TwoBrides.com & TwoGrooms.com, to provide the gay community with the wedding products she hadn’t been able to find for her daughter.

TwoBrides.com and TwoGrooms.com, mother-approved shopping sites for same sex weddings since 2000, offers services and products to a community that has been routinely neglected and discriminated against: the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. The company, which was the first of its kind on the Internet, has recently opened a showroom in Arlington, VA, and is proud of its mission is to provide innovative, practical, and top-quality products and information networking for same-sex and other alternative weddings.