Dunedin – From noon to sunset this Valentine’s Day, a park in downtown Dunedin will be the site of several same-sex weddings. That’s because Team G Events, along with the City of Dunedin and Equality Florida, will host scheduled weddings throughout the day at Weaver Park.
It’s a way to celebrate marriage equality’s arrival in Florida this year and it’s especially exciting for Gregory Brady, who grew up in Dunedin, to see so much progress.
“I grew up in Dunedin,” Brady said. “And with it being a small sleepy town, elements of discrimination were present. It wasn’t until a gay bar opened up on main street that actually brought in the LGBT people to Dunedin. Since those days Dunedin has grown to embrace the different fabrics of culture be it LGBT or other diversities and cultures.”
In fact, acceptance has grown so much that Dunedin’s elected officials were among the first to pass legislation protecting its LGBT citizens. Several years ago, the mayor attended North Pinellas Pride downtown as did council members.
Now, Dunedin is ready to embrace a reputation as a gay wedding destination. Local hotels and businesses are advertising special rates for couples who want to marry in the north Pinellas town.
Brady, who runs Team G Events long with is partner, Walter, and their business partner, Jeanette Donahue, is hopeful that many same-sex couples will take advantage of the Valentine’s Day weddings.
“The response has been really positive,” Brady said. “We have gay couples interested in Team G coordinating their wedding. The mayor, Julie Ward-Bujalski, even contacted us and asked ‘What are you going to do as far as celebrating the legislation?'”
Brady added that the City of Dunedin has helped with fees to rent the park at a Jan. 23 meeting, where all five commissioners voted for the celebration. All five of the commissioners are expected to make an appearance Feb. 14.
“The Proclamation that was done at North Pinellas Pride will be re-read by the mayor, which is a proclamation about diversity and inclusiveness,” Brady said. “She will also officiate the ceremonies. We also have a very strong outreach from the religious community; our particular church is Unity Church of Clearwater and their reverend will officiate ceremonies as well.”
Without a doubt, the support from the Dunedin community is there, but Team G also looking for support from its own.
“What we are really looking for from the LGBT community is for them to come out, whether they get married, renew vows that they took in another state or just to support the action,” Brady said. “That’s what we’re looking for. This isn’t a money-making event. What we’re charging is just to take care of the expenses. We are a gay-a\owned company and we are out there and available for people for the future now that marriage is something that is available to us.”