BY Ross von Metzke
December 21 2009 5:40 PM ET
Jeremy Hooper is best known in gay circles as the brains behind the website GoodAsYou.org, which tackles everything from antigay conservatives sticking their feet in their mouths to the marriage equality movement. But this month Hooper (pictured at left) and his husband, Andrew Shulman, are more likely to be recognized as the first gay couple featured in Martha Stewart Weddings.
Hooper first posted photos from his Connecticut wedding on his blog in June, circulating them out to newspaper and magazine editors in the weeks that followed. An editor from Martha Stewart Weddings e-mailed him back a day later.
“I think they were actively looking for a same-sex couple,” Hooper says.
The blogger says the magazine wasn’t looking to get overly political, but it was clear to him the editors were looking to make a statement.
“They didn’t come right out and say it, but they did stress many times that this was their first ... and they were doing it for their 15th anniversary, so we sort of put it all together.
Martha Stewart Weddings' editor in chief Vanessa Holden says it was Andrew and Jeremy's personal take on the wedding that really caught the magazine's eye.
"We have thousands of submissions, and we look for a very particular kind of wedding," she says. "We liked the personal style, their take on how they wanted to celebrate their union. It was a very nice, well-executed, tastefully done celebration of two people's unions."
Hooper says he made such a point of getting the wedding photos out there because “for the past five years my personal and my public life have been one and the same. Every step of this journey — every time I can put a human face on this issue, I do.” He says he thinks another reason editors at Martha Stewart Weddings were so eager to run the photos is that the wedding was so pro-family.
“We had six or seven children there under the age of 10. We had a nun in full habit. Every faith, everything they always use against us, I think we nipped all of those in the bud.”
But just because Hooper and Shulman are a first for the magazine doesn’t mean you should expect a huge, splashy promotional push.
“It was 100% about the aesthetics, there was no attempt on their part to make it political,” he says. “There are three couples in the magazine ... two straight couples and us. You’re flipping the pages and you see us, which is exactly the way it should be.”
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