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RALEIGH, NC (CAP) - A growing number of fashion designers, stylists and event planners have banded together and are refusing to provide services to straight couples who are planning their weddings until gay marriage is legalized across the country.
The boycott has gained momentum during the last few months as more states have moved to either ban gay marriage or refuse to legally recognize same-sex unions of any kind.
Engaged heterosexual couples have reacted with alarm. Forthcoming nuptials are expected to suffer greatly from a lack of style and taste until the self-imposed ban is lifted.
"I'm incredibly worried about this," said Patricia Felton, 28, who had planned to marry her fiance of two years, Martin Bland, in a large ceremony this summer. "I had the best team of stylists and planners in the world until they all resigned as part of this strike. I'm completely at a loss now."
Felton held up a scarlet cocktail dress.
"I was going to wear this to the rehearsal dinner because [former wedding planner] Vince said it was daring, but also darling and that I could get away with it with my figure," said Felton. "But now I'm not so sure, especially since I found out that the carpet at the restaurant is green. Am I going to look like a Christmas elf?"
She turned to her fiance, who shook his head and backed away slowly. "Martin? A little advice please? Can you even tell me if these shoes go? WHO WILL HELP ME?!"
Felton collapsed in tears, clutching the dress and shoes, as her fiance fled the scene.
Although not all of the stylists and designers taking part in the movement are gay, a large percentage are, and many of them have long-term partners they say they would someday like to marry. The general consensus is that it is unjust for a wedding planner to assist with an event that he or she is legally banned from personally participating in.
"It wreaks havoc on your karma," noted Trent Richards, a highly sought-after designer who helped spearhead the strike. "Knowing that I've helped countless couples look great while walking down an aisle that I and my partner of 10 years are banned from has become too frustrating to bear."
"I'm tired of designing elaborate flower arrangements for straight weddings while knowing that I'm prohibited in most states from ever having one myself," said Kevin Peters, a stylist from Raleigh.
"Not only has North Carolina banned gay marriage, but they just amended the state constitution to bar recognition of any union aside from marriage between a man and a woman. That felt like a slap in the face. Enough was enough."
Added Peters, "We're hoping that putting the pressure on engaged couples will help push the equality movement forward so that in the next few years all Americans will be able to marry the person they love. In the meantime, create your own damn centerpieces, heteros. I guarantee that for the most part they will be tacky as hell."
As of press time, wedding boutiques had begun to report an alarming increase in the demand for Groom Kilts and particularly vulgar Unity Candles.