Same-sex couples hesitant to hold ceremonies

Posted at: 09/04/2013 5:40 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

As hundreds of same-sex couples have filed marriage licenses in eight counties across New Mexico, it might be assumed just as many are heading to the chapel.

Throughout the past two weeks, there have been plenty of same-sex weddings on paper, but one Albuquerque reverend said on Wednesday the rush to plan ceremonies hasn't come.

Reverend Pearl Gabaldon said the number of phone calls, which seemed promising at first, are a blur.

"Once Las Cruces stated issuing, I got bombarded with calls," said Gabaldon.

Those calls were all from same-sex couples, but interest is where it seems to end. Despite all the calls, Gabaldon said no one's really booking.

"There's a huge potential for business," she said.

She worries echoes of what happened in Sandoval County in 2004 may be preventing same sex couples from planning any big wedding events just yet.

Back then, former county clerk Victoria Dunlap began issuing gay marriage licenses before she was told to stop.

"I showed up right off the bat," said Gabaldon, recalling her role officiating marriages during the four hours she was allowed to marry same-sex couples in 2004.

She said then she watched a lot of couples disappointed.

Resources for same-sex couples are there. Online directories feature lists of planners, and services in New Mexico geared toward same sex couples. One caterer told KOB Eyewitness News 4 he's spent extra money to be listed on the websites, hoping for the business, but no one's biting.

"All of us I think in the industry are looking forward to the day we just get on with life and do all the weddings we can," said Gabaldon.

One wedding planner listed on an online gay wedding planner directory said she's currently planning two same-sex weddings in the Albuquerque area.