buyequalityIn a week, same-sex couples in Minnesota will be enjoying, for the first time, the right to legally wed. That means a flurry of wedding planning. But how do you avoid the hassles that come from working with a business that is hostile to marriage equality?

Fortunately, Project 515 and Outfront Minnesota have put together a website featuring businesses that are proud to help same-sex couples have the perfect wedding.

Wedding Equality Minnesota lists businesses in many categories that have affirmed the right for couples to marry.

Using businesses that support the LGBT community is important not only for a hassle-free wedding. The religious right have been recruiting businesses to turn away same-sex couples and then spark lawsuits. Those lawsuits have been used in ads in several states, including Minnesota, to deny same-sex couples the right to marry.

For example, in Vermont, an inn-keeper turned away a same-sex couple. And in Washington, a same-sex couple is suing a florist who refused to do flowers for their wedding. Minnesota for Marriage used those examples in its efforts to deny marriage equality in Minnesota. But what they don’t say is that discrimination based on sexual orientation has been illegal in those states, and Minnesota, well before same-sex couples were able to legally wed.

Religious right groups are actively seeking business owners in Minnesota to use as examples in other states to block marriage equality efforts.

So why not have a hassle-free wedding and at the same time, halt the efforts of the religious right? To aid in that, has created an initiative called Buy Equality, and we are maintaining a list of businesses that have given support to efforts to block full equality for LGBT Minnesotans.

For example: Having a large wedding and need a stage? The owner of Staging Concepts Inc., gave $1,000 to Minnesota for Marriage. Same-sex couples might want to avoid holding a reception at Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge Restaurant in Spring Lake. The owner gave $1,000 to Minnesota for Marriage. The same goes for the Z103 Bar and Grill in Fergus Falls. The owner $1,000 to Minnesota for Marriage.

For wedding invitations and thank you cards, IPrint in Blaine may be one to avoid. The company gave $745 directly to Minnesota for Marriage

For hair and makeup, the owner of Hamel Beauty Shop in St. Michael gave $250.

Looking for fortune cookie with Bible verses in it for your guests (not many people are)? The owner of Evangelistic Foods gave $500 to Minnesota for Marriage.

(See our statement on the purpose of the Buy Equality project).

The full list of businesses also includes many in the construction, law, financial, and household goods categories.

The Column is a community-supported non-profit news, arts, and media organization. We depend on community support to continue the work of solid LGBT-centric journalism. If you like this article, consider visiting Give MN to make a contribution today.


  1. IPrint is either an in-home desktop publisher or they have another location, because the address above is in a planned unit development and there is no storefront there.


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