The LGBT community has found an unlikely hero in The Food Network‘s Guy Fieri. The Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host, decked out in a tailored suit and an electric-blue shirt, facilitated the nuptials of 101 gay couples in Miami during the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The mass wedding took place at The James Royal Palm Hotel and was hosted by Chef Art Smith, who is gay and married his partner back in 2010.
Smith, a Florida native, used to be a chef to Oprah Winfrey and Governor Bob Graham. He announced the event back in January after the ban on same-sex marriage was lifted in Miami. Smith held a social media contest where the first 101 couples to tweet him with the hashtag #101gayweddings would be wed come the event.
— Miami News Now (@miaminewsnow) February 23, 2015
In an interview with The Miami Herald, Smith said,
“I believe not only celebrating this momentous occasion, but we also need to keep in mind there are still people, people around our country, who still don’t have the rights. It’s important we show the utmost respect and encouragement to these young couples who want to be married. And why not marry them in style?”
— Brett Parker (@mrbrettparker) February 24, 2015
— DJ Deanne (@djdeanne) February 23, 2015
— Gackt Fieri (@GacktFieri) February 23, 2015
According to Smith, he chose the number “101” as a reference to the Disney film 101 Dalmatians, referring to Florida Attorney General and anti-gay marriage advocate Pam Bondi as Cruella De Vil (the name of the film’s villain).
“We have our own Cruella De Vil, Pam Bondi. She was determined that she was going to prevent equality from coming to Florida. For a state known for sunshine, it was living in the darkness when it came to LGBT rights and it was important to acknowledge that.”
Smith asked some of his friends to help. Guy Fieri signed on and decided to officiate the ceremony in honor of his late sister who was a lesbian. Duff Goldman, star of the Food Network’s Ace of Cakes also helped out by crafting a seven-tier gold and silver cake.
— kelli kennedy (@kkennedyAP) February 23, 2015
“My only agenda is to celebrate this and make it true in every state,” said Goldman who is a gay-rights advocate. This isn’t the first time that Goldman baked a cake for equality. After hearing news of a baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay couple, Goldman contacted the couple and baked the cake himself. “We are not arbitrators of morality, we’re cake decorators,” he said.
[Image via Twitter]