Chicago-based, Florida-native chef Art Smith has announced that on February 21, during the upcoming South Beach Wine and Food Festival, he will throw a free wedding for 101 same-sex couples, in celebration of the very recent lift of Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Last year, Smith and chefs John Currence and Kelly English hosted the Big Gay Mississippi Welcome Table in New York City to protest the state’s passing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which gives businesses and individuals the right to refuse services to LGBT citizens on religious grounds.
The first 101 gay couples who tweet to the chef (@ChefArtSmith) with the hashtag #101GayWeddings will get a free wedding (not 101 individual weddings, unfortunately) which will include a giant custom cake from the Ace of Cakes himself, Duff Goldman, who also created chef Smith’s wedding cake when he married his partner in 2010.
“A to-be-named celebrity officiant will perform Smith’s 101 Gay Weddings, which is also expected to draw several Miami and out-of-town chefs,” reports The Miami Herald.
“I just felt like there was a need to give them a really lovely wedding,” Smith told the publication. “I believe not only celebrating this momentous occasion,” he said, “but we also need to keep in mind there are still people, people around our country, who still don’t have the rights.”