In May 2004, Cindy Sproul addressed a crowd of three hundred fifty at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge, MA, inviting them to mark the moment by raising a glass to toast the passage of the landmark Goodridge Decision. The crowd, gathered for the auspicious occasion at the first annual 'Same Love, Same Rights'TM LGBTQ Wedding Expo that afternoon, was joyful, attentive and many clung to handkerchiefs: Dozens of couples and wedding professionals alike were teary-eyed and struck with disbelief that the day had finally arrived when same-gender couples would be legally permitted to marry in the Bay State.
Just four and a half years earlier, Sproul and her partner Marianne Puechl had co-founded RainbowWeddingNetwork.com, the first wedding gift registry ever specifically dedicated to the Gay and Lesbian community. The women, planning their own commitment ceremony, saw the need for a website dedicated to LGBTQ unions: having encountered awkwardness themselves as they approached wedding vendors, they decided it would be a wonderful & productive resource to screen vendors so that other LGBTQ couples would not have to experience discrimination.
Idea for RWN
Cindy Sproul realizes there is no gift registry welcoming to the LGBT community; she and partner Marianne Puechl brainstorm the details of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com
In September of that year RainbowWeddingNetwork.com (RWN) is officially launched
Vermont becomes first state to recognize civil unions for same-gender couples
RWN produces its first LGBT Wedding Expo, Minneapolis MN
A Year of Change
In May, two weeks before the enactment of full marriage recognition in Massachusetts, RWN produces its 1st Annual LGBT Wedding Expo at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge. That annual event continues today.
Massachusetts becomes first state to recognize full marriage rights for same-gender couples; Multnomah County OR approves then overturns same-gender marriage recognition; under leadership of Mayor Gavin Newsom the city of San Francisco approves then overturns same-gender marriage recognition
Federal Marriage Amendment Act is proposed; RWN focuses more strongly on bringing LGBT Wedding Expos to various states throughout the nation and launches sister site:Â SameLoveSameRights.com
Connecticut approves civil unions
A Voice to a Cause
RWN begins publication of the nation’s first Print Magazine specifically geared toward gay and lesbian weddings and the issues of marriage and family rights.
In November state constitutional amendments banning same-gender marriage are passed in seven more states
New Jersey approves civil unions
Marriage rights are recognized in California. In the summer before the passage of Proposition 8, RWN produces four back-to-back LGBT Wedding Expos from Sacramento to Long Beach. RWN founders Sproul & Puechl marry in a legally recognized ceremony in Malibu.
Connecticut legalizes same-gender marriage; New Hampshire recognizes civil unions; Proposition 8 passes in California, banning same-gender marriage
Iowa, New Hampshire and Washington DC begin recognizing full marriage rights for same-gender couples; Vermont legislative decision changes civil unions to full marriage recognition; Washington State's 'domestic partnership' law is meant to provide marriage rights; Maine legalizes and then overturns marriage recognition
US Attorney General Eric Holder states that the Obama Administration will no longer defend DOMA; New York recognizes full marriage rights for same-gender couples; Illinois, Delaware, Rhode Island begin offering civil unions for same-gender couples
California's Proposition 8 deemed unconstitutional; Maryland, Maine and Washington State recognize full marriage rights for same-gender couples; Hawaii approves civil unions; President Obama announces his support of same-gender marriage; New Jersey approves, delays then denies full marriage rights for same-gender couples
RWN produces its 100th LGBT Wedding Expo, in Maryland
Rhode Island, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Illinois, Hawaii, New Mexico begin to recognize full marriage rights for same-gender couples; Proposition 8 completely overruled in California and that state again recognizes full marriage rights for same-gender couples; Utah approves then denies marriage recognition; Colorado approves civil unions
Legitimizing LGBT Families
RWN publishes coloring book for children with 2 moms or 2 dads.
Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Ohio, Arkansas, Idaho, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, W. Virginia, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Alaska, Arizona, Montana, Mississippi take steps toward marriage recognition; Indiana recognizes same-gender marriage; Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee ultimately uphold same-gender marriage bans
Victory at Last!
Florida recognizes full marriage rights for same-gender couples; S. Dakota, Alabama, Nebraska take steps toward marriage recognition
June 26, 2015 - The US Supreme Court legalizes same-gender marriage nationwide
The Mission Continues
RWN produces its 285th LGBT Wedding Expo, and brings the tour of events to its 37th state.