Wedding contest canceled after rule excluding gay couples generates protest

A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize gay marriage in Ohio won’t be on the ballot this November.
Jessica Cuffman
Aug 19, 2013

Organizers have said it could have a shot in November 2014, but the end game remains to be seen. For now, state law prevents gay couples from being legally married in Ohio, a rule that extends to the northern shoreline and Cedar Point.

Thus, the rules cited by the park in a shortly advertised — then canceled — contest for 13 couples to get married on the grounds during Friday the 13th for the opening of HalloWeekends. When Akron couple Scott Kenimond, 37, and Eric Morrison, 28, saw the original posting on the park’s blog, OnPoint, they thought they’d found their dream wedding — or at least ceremony, since they can’t legally be married in Ohio.

“He was elated. He was beside himself so happy,” Morrison said, in describing his partner’s demeanor. They’ve been engaged for a few months after meeting online, bonding over their love for roller coasters then dating for a year.
“It was one of the things that made me message him. First I thought, ‘He looks cute,’” Morrison said.

“My username was WickedTwister. He knew right away I was a fan,” he said.

The couple had been considering a Cedar Point wedding anyway. At first, the blog post was a sign. Then they read the fine print: Due to marriage laws in Ohio, weddings are limited to male-female couples only.

The post had advertised wedding ceremonies and a chance for already married couples to renew their vows, so the disclaimer didn’t make sense to Morrison and Kenimond. “It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not,” Morrison said. “You should be able to have a commitment ceremony. For God’s sakes, you’re getting married by a zombie.”

So they decided to take on the challenge, asking friends and strangers to Tweet at Cedar Point to allow gay couples to apply. Morrison made postings on two coaster blogs and reddit, and the response took off.

After some brief communication with park officials, however, it was over. Cedar Point simply decided to cancel the contest.

In response to questions for this story, the park offered a brief statement, clarifying there was no negative intent for the contest and it was meant to generate excitement for the kickoff of HalloWeekends. “When the promotion logistics started to take on political undertones, as indicated by several guests who gave us feedback, it was decided that now is not the best time for this event,” read a statement issued by park spokesman Bryan Edwards. “Cedar Point does not take any official stance on political issues,” it said. The park does offer opportunities outside of promotions for couples to have weddings, commitment ceremonies and other events at the park, he said.

“We encourage guests to contact us if they’re interested in planning such an event,” he said.

As someone who works in marketing, Morrison said he understood the strategy from a business standpoint — but he was disappointed by it. “For them, this was not a political commotion. It was simply to drum up interest for HalloWeekends and they had a stance where they chose not to choose a stance,” he said.

“I’m disappointed they would choose to go that way rather than stand behind their LGBT community,” he said. “Ultimately, they’re playing it safe. But it’s a cowardly choice.”

Comments

bnjjad

"sad that others want to push their beliefs on others" - Goes both ways.

And if you want your own parade, it could be organized with the city.

44846GWP

red white and blue, go take an English class and then tell us what you think.

red white and blue

Seems to me gays are the ones pushing there life style on others

red white and blue

Seems to me gays are the ones pushing there life style on others

aview2akill

What would Jesus do? Really? I never heard one spot in the Bible where Jesus didn't show compassion and caring for his fellow man.

As a former Ohio resident, I am saddened by the mean spirited and hateful comments hiding under the cloak of religion. Those who put negative comments are haters. So be a proud hater. Gay rights are a civil rights issue. As you all know it is inevitable at this point that gay American citizens will have an equal playing field in this country. By the way, we are human beings too. We have feelings, we have hearts, and we can bleed.

For those of you who tell us to stop being gay, why don't you stop being white? Why don't you stop being Christian? Why don't you stop being bigots? Opps. But guess what, spouting the negative messages is out and out bigotry. Have a nice day.

traumamama

How does saying, "I don't think homosexuality is ok" or "I don't support the push for homosexual marriage" make someone a "hater"? I don't feel hatred towards people who identify as LGBT. I am no more a hater than the next person with differing views on some other controversial topic!
People who truly have a heart after Christ will say the same thing as I did before. In the end it does not matter what I think about homosexuality. It only matters what God thinks. God abhors all sin...mine, yours, everyone's.
As far as gay American citizens having an equal playing field...those who are gay certainly have the right to petition and vote just like everyone else. But, I hope that the fight remains a credible one. I read an article today where groups of people were out circulating petitions to "bring more jobs to Ohio." When in fact, the petitions were really to support getting the issue of gay marriage on the ballot.
I really doubt that the issue in favor of gay marriage is as popular as folks in the movement think that it is. Why would petitioners be out there lying and cheating the system for signatures if they didn't think the opposition was so strong? A great many folks may give the issue lip service in favor of the gay marriage issue...but when standing alone in the ballot box, their vote would tell another story.

red white and blue

I have no problem with gays they want to get married I'm fine with that if ur gay and that makes u happy great but keep it to yourself.is there really a need to have gay day on fathers day.sounds like gays are making it hard on them selfs I don't need to know ur person sex prefence.nor do u need to know mine as far as rights like I said I'm all for eqaul rights as far as the lord he teachs us not to judge that's his job for all we know straights maybe wrong weare all gods children

44846GWP

Like I said, go back to school, take an English class and THEN tell us what you think. Dumb is no way to go through life.

OSUBuckeye59

I truly am disappointed in Eric Morrison claiming Cedar Point made a "cowardly choice" in cancelling the marriage contest. The contest promotion was for couples open to get legally married on Friday the 13th. With same-sex marriage currently not legal in the state of Ohio, CP could have made it clear in their rules the contest was only open to couples being able to legally marry. No doubt had CP chosen to keep the contest on track but exclude same-sex couples there would have been quite the outcry from the LGBT community, no matter how much CP would've tried to say they had to follow the marriage laws of the state of Ohio.

If Mr. Morrison truly did understand why CP made the decision they did, he wouldn't have lashed out at them. I personally think Mr. Morrison's frustration and disappointment comes from a standpoint of him not being able to realize an opportunity to actually get married in the state of Ohio. Perhaps Mr. Morrison hoped that by winning the contest, he could indeed get "legally" married as per the prize awarded the winning couple.

As much as I support legislation to allow same-sex couples to have their union legally recognized, to me, this whole matter is more about Mr. Morrison wanting to get "married" and thus use this for his own legal/political agenda. As Mr. Morrison has a career in the Marketing industry, he knew exactly how he was going to use this for his own personal gain. And that's why I believe Mr. Morrison is so irritated. CP took away his opportunity to make a statement.

CP didn't make a "cowardly choice". CP made a reasoned, legal choice.

red white and blue

Really 44 is that your best answer. When u have something to add other than put downs u come back and tell us what u think

red white and blue

Sad u go thu this big long paragraph about how u have feelings and there are so many gay bashers.I haven't bashed any gays just think we can do without ANYONE! Sitting around waiting for a chance to tell the world there sex preference.now that we are all here discussing our opinions.u decide to lash out when things don't go your way.

whocares

Its their contest, Cedar Point should be able to run it the way they want to.

Nemesis

You seem to be operating under the mistaken assumption that America is still a free country. Look around.

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