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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
February 18, 2005

Fair brings together committed couples

Columbus--About 300 people turned out for Stonewall Columbus� Commitment Faire, an evening of entertainment and information for couples preparing for weddings or commitment ceremonies.

The event brought together GLBT Ohioans and their allies on February 10 to celebrate their love for each other, their friends and families.

The event was the largest in its three-year history, despite--or maybe because of--Ohio�s marriage ban amendment passed in November.

Approximately 40 vendors set up shop in the main atrium of the Franklin Park Conservatory. Couples looking for ideas for their ceremonies here or weddings in Europe, Canada, or Massachusetts visited booths to get ideas for catering, cakes, honeymoon travel, wedding wear, commitment rings and wedding related fashion. For couples truly planning on staying together �till death do us part,� this year�s fair even featured a booth to help plan for funerals and the afterlife.

In addition to the vendors and diverse entertainment, the evening featured a fashion show for engagements, weddings and honeymoons.

Employees and supporters of Columbus GLBT agencies were the models for this year�s fashion show, adding a genuine touch to the parade.

The walk down the ramp was shared by representatives of the BRAVO anti-violence organization, BRAVER veterans� group, Camp Sunrise, the Columbus AIDS Task Force, Crystal Club, Fusion, the Gender Identity Focus Team, Human Rights Campaign, Kaleidoscope, Pater Noster House, SpeakOut, Stonewall Columbus and the Tobias Project.

The Columbus Gay Men�s Chorus, the Columbus Stompers and the AlcheMs from the Columbus Women�s Chorus provided the entertainment for the evening.

The main stage festivities concluded with a commitment ceremony. Nick Staup and Rolando Ramon, who were recently married in Canada, had a ceremony performed by Rev. Phil Hart, Stonewall�s interfaith chaplain. Staup and Ramon are also part of the Freedom to Marry Coalition.




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