A gay couple have a chance of winning Crate & Barrel’s “Ultimate Wedding” contest and the $100,000 prize.
Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard are currently second in the voting with more than 11,000 votes. The Washington, D.C., couple were among the first in the District of Columbia to apply for a marriage license this month.
“We knew that we were right for each other from the start,” Howard said. “We knew that we would always be by each other’s side.”
But in August 2008, crisis struck the couple when Howard was the victim of a bias-motivated crime.
“We were walking home and a group of four guys pulled up to us in a car,” Howard told DC Agenda. “I turned around to see what the commotion was and the last thing I remember is hearing, ‘Die, fa**ot, die,’ as they stomped my head into the pavement.”
Howard’s attacker pleaded guilty to the assault but was given a two-year suspended sentence, earning him zero jail time. The ruling continues to haunt Howard.
“After the attack and the trial Greg stood by my side. He held me up and he pushed me forward. He was there with me through the constant nightmares and my struggle to understand. He was also the one who helped me gain the courage to speak out about what happened to me,” Howard said.
Now, two years later, Howard and Jones are forging the path to marriage equality in the nation’s capital. The couple were among the very first to apply for a marriage license in the District and earned attention from news giants like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Chicago Tribune.
The couple now hope to celebrate their nuptials with a wedding of their dreams.
Howard said that winning the contest would be a significant victory not only for the couple, but for the LGBT community as a whole.
“It would be great for us but more than that for the community to really say, ‘Hey, we’re a normal couple and we’re getting married and it doesn’t matter if it’s two men’. [Crate & Barrel] is supporting us and it’s a great story [and] it’s a great step for marriage equality… I would be shocked and amazed and overwhelmed and overjoyed and it would be just great for everybody involved.”
Other same-sex couples performing strongly in the contest include Mikey and Earl, Emily and Rachel, and Ed and Erwin.
Voting closes March 31.