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Extremists' hatred poisons Mahmoud and Morel's wedding

Before Uganda's Constitutional Court overturned the draconian Anti-Homosexuality Act on a parliamentary technicality earlier this month, a brave same-sex couple managed to host an intimate, secret wedding service — and digital publication Vocativ was there with video cameras.

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Holding or attending the covert ceremony was highly dangerous, as participants worried a guest may have tipped off local police about the planned wedding — which, under the now-defunct Anti-Homosexuality Act, would have prescribed at least year-long prison sentences for anyone involved or attending the celebration. Other stipulations of the law imposed lifelong prison sentences on anyone convicted of "aggravated homosexuality," which included repeated same-sex sexual contact between consenting adults, or any same-sex encounter where one person was a minor, mentally disabled, HIV-positive, or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The law also required friends, family, neighbors, and landlords of LGBT people to report them to police or face a seven-year stint in jail themselves.

And although an invitation-only Ugandan LGBT Pride celebration went off without protests or violence less than three weeks after the Anti-Homosexuality Act was overturned, homosexuality remains criminalized in the east African nation, and the hundreds of LGBT people fleeing antigay attitudes in Uganda have found conditions to be no safer in refugee camps in neighboring Kenya. As such, Uganda remains an unfriendly place to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or intersex.

Meanwhile, local politicians and press outlets have been sending mixed signals about if and when a revised version of the law might be implemented. Since the Constitutional Court overturned the law based on a lack of quorum when Parliament passed it, the court did not address the constitutional issues raised by the legislation, leaving the possibility open that a new iteration of the bill once labeled "Kill the Gays" could be introduced.

For the moment, though, Uganda's embattled LGBT population is enjoying a moment of relative respite — making it a perfect time to share Vocativ's video, which captures the indomitable spirit of these proud Ugandans. Watch it below.

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05:13 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


Mason jars a tired trend in weddings, décor?

No Mason jars were used in the making of this article.

The same cannot be said of weddings everywhere. Or cocktail hours. Or the homes of trendy 20-somethings.

The Mason jar – a clear glass container invented for the canning of food – is everywhere. Still. Another peak wedding season has come and gone, and yet again, the jar was inescapable.

Vases, centerpieces, chandeliers, lanterns, soap dispensers, cocktail shakers, terrariums, tumblers, planters, lamp bases, photo frames, snow globes, spice racks, bracelets, gumball machines – all made out of Mason jars.

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“It has exploded to where, I don’t know, probably 75 percent of weddings end up with Mason jars,” said Jennifer Condon, wedding style and registry director at Brides Magazine.

As illustrated by the number of Google searches for “Mason jar,” the decorating trend for homes and weddings first took off in 2011. Condon said it unsurprisingly coincided with the rising popularity of do-it-yourself-type décor in the wake of the recession.

People were trying to save money, and the jars were inexpensive.

People were trying to personalize their homes and weddings, and the jars were versatile.

People were short on time, and the jars were easy to find.

Then, there was the Pinterest effect.

“Brides are inspired by other brides,” said Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings. “Brides post their weddings online, then other brides spend a lot of time looking at what those brides were doing.”

And so went the Mason jar cycle, until an item that once represented creativity and personality became the Instagrammable poster child of normalcy. Antiques stores jacked up their prices, manufacturers made jars in ridiculously impractical sizes and the company that owns the Ball Corp. brand – founded in Muncie, Indiana – doubled the price of its stock. The Mason jar became synonymous with any setting meant to feel homey or outdoorsy.

Brides who had no previous interest in canning, farms or rustic décor were having barn weddings full of burlap, weed-like flowers and, of course, Mason jars.

Wedding planner Jeannette Tavares said the idea has been so ingrained in brides’ minds that her customers expect every non-ballroom wedding to look this way.

“There is a movement among designers to get out of this idea we were being pigeonholed into,” Tavares said.

She encourages thinking outside the Mason jar, to options such as glass cylinder vases, mercury glass or even centerpieces made of succulents.

“We are ready for something new and different,” Tavares said.

Unless the “rustic chic”-loving world isn’t ready for new and different.

“The Mason jar is a true icon of made-in-America quality and ingenuity,” said Eleanor Madison, who sells the jars from her vintage furniture company. “They deserve to be repurposed and reimagined like this.”

The 25-year-old entrepreneur said the jars are not a trend but a lasting staple that “beckons us back to a simpler time.”

DIY Weddings Magazine founder and chief executive Kym Stelmachers said it beckons her back in a different way.

“Each generation has something they are embarrassed about. I mean, proud of,” Stelmachers said.

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04:47 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)


White Chimnies Farm wedding venue may be forced to close in planning row over luxury toilets

THE owners of a wedding business have warned they could be forced to close their venue down – because of a row over luxury toilets.

Council planners are considering taking enforcement action to remove the portable building converted into high-class loos.

They have also raised planning concerns over car parking at the venue.

It comes after Staffordshire Moorlands District Council refused a planning application to increase the number of weddings each year at White Chimnies Farm, near Endon from nine to 12.

The owners also operate four holiday cottages at the Lask Edge site.

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Joint owner Zeta Dean-Goodwin said: "We can have nine weddings-a-year without planning permission and wanted to extend it to 12 as the venue has proved popular.

"But now we have had to turn couples away because planning permission has been refused for an extension of just a few extra events a year.

"We have converted a portable building into luxury toilets for the weddings, but the council says it is in the green belt and we need to move it."

The 56-year-old added: "I have considered closing down the whole business because it is causing me too much hassle.

"I am so sick of fighting the council when other venues have been given planning permission.

"They have bombarded us with enforcement notices to move the portable building. It has become so stressful.

"The business employs local people and we also buy products from local companies.

"It is ridiculous the council is getting so upset over a portable cabin.

"The weddings also bring in people who stay in the cottages and enjoy our indoor swimming pool. We are not near anyone and a teepee is erected in the grounds for the weddings. We have been here for 22 years, have refurbished the whole place, and now want to share it with others."

Husband David Dean-Goodwin, aged 67, said: "I don't understand the attitude of the council. All we have done is improve the place.

"When we came here 22 years ago, it was a run-down farm and we have done a lot of work to make it into the place it is today.

"We are bringing lots of people into the area and the council has been negative."

Council officers are hoping to resolve the dispute through further consultation.

A council spokesman said: "Planning permission was refused, and dismissed at appeal, because of the impact of the portable building and the hard-standing on the green belt.

"The council is seeking to resolve these issues through consultation.

"However, if necessary, enforcement action will be taken."

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05:23 Publié dans wedding | Tags : wedding | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)