Love was in the air and history was in the making! The excitement was tangible on Sunday, June 1, 2014 at Unity in Chicago, Ill., as forty couples and more than 400 guests participated in a non-denominational, all-inclusive group wedding celebrating the first official day for same-sex couples to marry in Illinois. Senior minister Rev Heidi Alfrey conducted the service. The day was made possible by the efforts of a dedicated board of trustees and an enthusiastic volunteer team of more than fifty members.
Unity in Chicago proclaimed its message of “Love Honored Here” in several published articles prior to the celebration. Rev Heidi was interviewed by a number of local media and was joined by members Kevin Herndon and Doug McMorrow. They reminded listeners and readers that “Married in Unity” was open to all couples, regardless of orientation, wishing to take their vows. View a video of the news coverage and the ceremony.
“What a wonderful opportunity for people to gather and show support for this long-awaited legislation,” said Alfrey. Members Brian Fallon and Fred Mahaffey said they weren’t sure what to expect. “We had already done a commitment ceremony in 2003 and a civil union in 2013,” Brian said. “We wondered how personal and meaningful it would be to take vows with 39 other couples. The surprise was clearly ours.” Fred reported feeling especially proud to be among those demonstrating the power of people coming together in love and respect.
“Doing this,” Fred said, “with members of our church community was a gift in itself.” Brian agreed and added, “Sharing that gift with couples from outside the community (and outside Illinois!) allowed us to welcome people into our spiritual home and to invite them to experience the love and acceptance shared at Unity in Chicago. We are all still feeling the ‘buzz’ and afterglow weeks later!”