FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rev. Roger Fritts
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH WAIVES WEDDING FEES FOR ONE DAY
TUESDAY, JANUARY 6.
To celebrate the first day of legal same-sex marriage in Florida, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, will waive all non-member fees for weddings, both same-sex and heterosexual, one day only, January 6, 2015. Normal rental fees for the church sanctuary for non-members can run over $1,000, with an additional minister officiation fee. Both fees will be waived for one day.
To qualify to legally marry on January 6 and avoid the 3-day wait period, couples need to complete the “Florida Premarital Preparation Course” approved by the State of Florida.
The church’s minister, Rev. Roger Fritts, is the author of a popular book on wedding ceremonies, For As Long As We Both Shall Live, published by Harper Collins, 1993. Rev. Fritts says, “Gay and lesbian couples seek marriage because they want access to basic civil and legal rights. The exclusion of same-sex partners from the right to marry stigmatized their relationship and reinforced a supremacy of heterosexuality over homosexuality. Every attempt to prohibit same-sex marriage has been a denial of humanity and an act of discrimination. We are delighted that this is finally changing.”
“Some will say that gay marriage is prohibited in the Scriptures. But the Bible also prohibits the eating of shell-fish, a rule that, if followed, would close most restaurants in Sarasota. Unitarian Universalists use our own reason and life experience to understand the Bible, which means many of us enjoy eating shell-fish. Our reason and experience has also led us to celebrate and support the legal marriage of same sex couples. We believe the criteria for marriage for any couple are a loving relationship, a genuine commitment and mutual sacrifice.”
Fritts adds, “If other clergy refuse to officiate at same-sex weddings that is their prerogative. But on January 6, any couple with a Florida Marriage License, gay or straight, is welcome to get married in a basic service in the sanctuary of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota. All fees will be waived for one day.”
Couples wishing to get married January 6 or any other day are invited to call the church to schedule their ceremony. 941-371-4974 Tues-Sunday.