Today’s forecast calls for sunshine, rainbows and the 20th annual Queer Wedding ceremony in Storke Plaza.
The event, scheduled to take place from noon to 2 p.m., will feature over 100 couples embarking on wedding rites. The wedding — which includes cake, rings, certificates and a walk down a lavender aisle for groups ranging from two to six people — is one of the premiere events of Queer Pride Week. Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Michael Young will oversee the wedding, as he has done in past years. The Queer Student Union organized today’s ceremony and invites anyone to participate.
According to QSU Co-chair Hazel Putney, the mock wedding is intended to recognize the beauty in relationships of all types.
“We want people to be open and proud of the relationship they are in and not hide the beauty of the relationship from anyone,” Putney said.
The Queer Wedding is one of the longest running events hosted by the Queer Student Union. QSU Co-chair Sevasti Travlos said the annual QSU event has had added significance since the passage of Prop 8 in Nov. 2008 banning gay marriage in California.
“It is something that is symbolic of the right that we do not have as a community,” Travlos said. “We come together and marry one another and it’s about creating that union. I think it definitely has more meaning ever since our right was taken away with people voting against it so it has become something that more people show up to than before because we have so many progressive supporters and allies on this campus.”
The Queer Wedding is part of the larger Queer Pride Week, an annual QSU activity that kicked off this year on Sunday with a student-run drag show that packed I.V. Theater. Events from the week have included educational workshops and various social gatherings.
Tomorrow, Pardall Road will host the first ever I.V. Pride Festival, which will blanket the street from 3-9 p.m. with DJs, booths from local non-profit organizations, art, games and performances by God-Des and She, Faith Cheltenham and Derrick Berry.
Event coordinators said that reported instances of racially-and sexually-motivated crimes across several UC campuses drove organizers to create the Pride Festival.
“I.V. Pride is the first of its kind,” Putney said. “It will be open not only to UCSB students, but also to the tri-county area and will be a powerful event for people who don’t have a supportive community.”
Queer Pride Week was primarily funded by the Finance Board, Community Affairs Board, Queer Commission and After Dark Programming.