''We just [received our email informing] us that we are FINALISTS! Congratulations to all of the finalists whose love stories are inspiring! A special thank you to each and every person who made this adventure possible.... A very special thank you to Crate and Barrel for allowing us to compete, and to all of the same sex couples who competed along side of us. It took courage to put our love up for a vote but our strong performances collectively have made a lasting statement. All the best and much love to all.''
Part of a Facebook update from Jonathan Howard. He and Gregory Jones have been participating in a public competition on the Crate & Barrel website. The gay couple is hoping to win the home furnishing chain's "Ultimate Wedding contest.'' As of today, they have racked up 20,054 votes -- earning second place behind Mary and Densey, a heterosexual couple with 21,562 votes. (Facebook)
Metro Weekly has chronicled parts of their journey. First the pair moved to DC after Howard was physically attacked in Boston, and last month they were singled out for anti-gay harassment online. They can also be seen in a video of the first couples that received legal marriage licenses from the District of Columbia. Other same-sex couples in the contest include Ed and Erwin (3141 votes), Emily and Rachel (3028 votes) and Mike and Earl (2313 votes).
''The 50 Entries with the highest number of votes as determined by Sponsor ("Finalists") will advance to the Final Round for judging to determine prize winners. The Sponsor's decisions as to numbers of votes for each Entry are final.''
From Rule #5 of the Ultimate Wedding contest that explains that the top vote getter is not necessarily going to be the winner. All of the top 50 are considered finalists. (Crate & Barrel)
''Thanks to everyone. As far as we know, we are in 10th place in the voting which gives us the maximum points for the voting phase.''
Ed Urbaniak who, along with his partner Erwin , is qualified to be finalist for the Crate & Barrel wedding contest. Urbaniak has posted a picture of their notifcation on his Facebook page. (Facebook)