For the first time in its 61-year history, JET magazine has featured a male LGBT couple in its popular wedding announcements section.
Ravi Perry and Paris Prince appeared in the Dec. 10 issue, which announced the couple’s August wedding in Massachusetts, the first state in the country to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
“President Obama has evolved [on marriage equality], and now we can add JET magazine to that,” Prince said on MSNBC Tuesday morning. He and Perry spoke with Thomas Roberts about the historic moment in the magazine’s history just as the Supreme Court announced its decision to take on two same-sex marriage cases next year.
“The Supreme Court has had a history of equality cases before its docket and they’ve sometimes erred on the side of caution and has embarrassed the country,” Perry said, “but they’ve also done the right thing when it comes to equality…so we’re hopeful they’ll do the right thing again with the marriage equality cases that they’ve taken up.”
He added, “If the Republican-appointed justices err on the side of equality, and equality before the law, equality under the law—something that was decided long ago when we ratified the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution 147 years ago—then we will be well on our way to having a society that we can debate ideas and are no longer debating basic fairness.”
Perry and Prince, who consider themselves LGBT activists, took a seven-day road trip through the South for their honeymoon, and said it was a ”beautiful experience.”
This is not the first time an LGBT couple has appeared in JET, but it is the first time a male couple has—which, as many have noted, is a breakthrough for the magazine.
GLAAD spokesman Daryl Hannah told NPR, ”We know what happens when our story isn’t told in publications that are fixtures in the African-American community. It perpetuates a picture that African-American LGBT couples don’t exist. This is a page-turning moment in history.”
The African-American community has been slow to embrace same-sex marriage, as the Washington Post reported after the election. But despite speculation that Obama’s support for marriage equality earlier this year would turn African-American voters away from him, several polls found it had the opposite effect, and black opposition to same-sex marriage dropped by double digits.
“Ravi and I are two men who will not be intimidated into the closet,” Prince said.