Gay couple endures hate in Crate & Barrel's wedding contest

Wed. March 17, 2010 12:00 AM by Amy Wooten

Chicago, IL - Despite hateful, anti-gay comments, a gay couple that entered Crate & Barrel's "Ultimate Wedding" contest continues to hold the #2 spot for most votes earned.

The Northbrook-based company recently launched its inclusive "Ultimate Wedding" contest. Many couples have entered, including D.C.-area couple Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard. Other same-sex couples are strong contenders, as well.

The couple's Crate & Barrel profile explains that they have had to endure hated from outsiders because of their love for one another. Howard is a hate crime survivor. A 2008 anti-gay attack left him severely injured.

Now, the couple is dealing with more anti-gay hate—this time on the Internet. According to GLAAD's blog, some individuals are angry that a gay couple is doing so well in the contest and responded with anti-gay blog posts and comments. A Chicago blogger who identifies as a police officer posted an especially anti-gay entry that has since been removed. Before it was removed, several people left hateful, bigoted comments.

On Howard's blog, he revealed that the couple considered dropping out of the contest following the anti-gay comments. However, they decided that by staying in the contest, they can help make a difference.

"We have the power to change society, we have the power to make a difference," Howard wrote.

Howard and Jones currently have over 8,800 votes, putting them in second place. A Chicago couple—a paralyzed police officer and his fiancé—lead the contest with over 17,500 votes so far.

GLAAD applauded Crate & Barrel for creating a gay-inclusive contest and the couple for taking a stand against hate.

The "Ultimate Wedding" grand prize is a $100,000 wedding planned and designed by Jo Gartin. The contest, which is open to both gay and straight couples, closes on March 31. The winners will be announced in April.