ACLU: Arkansas Couple Flying High In Nationwide Marriage Contest – But Still Need Your Vote

Affiliate: ACLU of Arkansas
February 6, 2014 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Arkansas
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CONTACT: 212-549-2666,

LITTLE ROCK – A couple from Arkansas are in the running to win $5,000 towards their dream wedding and a VIP reception in New York City as part of a national contest organized by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Mike Emery, who served in the United States Air Force for 10 years, and Todd Walters are among the leading couples to have applied for My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding, a landmark initiative aimed at drawing attention to the unequal state marriage laws which still deny millions of Americans the freedom to marry the person they love.

More than 68,000 votes have been cast on the contest website so far, with Mike and Todd emerging as among the highest vote-getters. Speaking about why they wanted to be involved in the initiative, Todd said:

Equality should matter for every human. Mike is a military combat veteran who served this country for 10 years, both before and during “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“He was also injured in the line of duty. We feel that anyone who can honorably serve their nation should also be able to marry the person they are in love with.”

You can vote for Mike and Todd by visiting

Rita Sklar, Executive Director, ACLU of Arkansas, said, “It is completely unjust that committed couples who are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together are still being denied the freedom to marry. Mike and Todd should be able to get married here in the state they call home, with all the rights that married couples enjoy. The ACLU and our supporters are determined to secure this freedom for all loving couples in Arkansas and across the United States.”

Since the MBGIW contest launched in December with an animated video featuring Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn, 180 same-sex couples from across the United States have applied – and there is still time for Arkansas couples to enter for a chance to win ahead of the Valentine’s weekend deadline (16 February).

The winning MBGIW couples will be announced in late February, with the weddings taking place in March. The public will then be invited to enter the “Wedding Crashers Sweepstakes” for the chance to win a VIP trip to “crash” the My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding VIP reception for the five couples in New York City in April.

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.