As the Supreme Court gears up to announce its decision on one of the most talked about subjects of the generation, marriage equality, TV personality Ross Mathews is about to take his career to a new and rather moving level.
Mathews, who's known for his appearances on Chelsea Lately, the "Ross the Intern" segments on The Tonight Show and a current gig as a judge on RuPaul's Drag Race, will be officiating a marriage for a same-sex couple this weekend during the DC Capital Pride Parade.
According to future husbands, George Carrancho and Sean Franklin, Mathews’ unique presence and style make him the perfect choice to pronounce them as “married.”
"I think he's going to be a great spokesperson because he has a great voice and he has a good following in social media," Franklin told Enstars. "And he's able to bring some humor to it, and I think that when you're able to bring humor to a very politically divisive situation, you can get past the politics of it and really focus on laughter and love, and I think that's one of the things that he's able to do."
Being together since 2007 and engaged since 2012, the couple doesn’t expect life to be much different once they tie the knot, but hopes that society can be more accepting of same-sex marriage.
"I don't think marriage will change in our day-to-day lives with our dog and our cat and our work...we're a normal couple," Carrancho said. "We don't have an extravagant lifestyle. We just want to be able to have a normal life and be protected and be treated equally."
So, how is their big day going to go down this weekend when the fabulous Mathews gets these two hitched? Well, we got a chance to catch up with Mathews and talk about all the details on the wedding, how he became an officiator and the growing acceptance of gay marriage in just his lifetime.
ENSTARS: How did you meet George and Sean?
ROSS MATHEWS: You know what's so funny is I helped at the GLAAD Media Awards in New York about a month or so ago and we actually met there and took a picture together. And I had no idea that in four weeks or so, we would be doing this with Mariott in Washington, D.C. in the middle of capital pride, no clue! And then Mariott chose them to be a part of this great thing we're doing, which is the #LoveTravel movement, it's encouraging travelers to explore their passions and celebrating their stories, and George and Sean have such a great, unique story, they've been together for eight years, they live in Texas where right now they don't have marriage equality. And we're going to do something extraordinary. Do you know what's going on?
Not really, you'll have to fill me in.
Okay, let me tell you what we're going to do, this is so cool! On Saturday, in the middle of capital pride with only like 100,000 people, Mariott has a float. I'm going to be on the float officiating the wedding of George and Sean in front of all these people as we drive in the face by the Supreme Court who's making a decision right now. It's going to be one of the things I'll remember for the rest of my life. I cannot wait.
Did you have to register to be a minister or anything like that?
I'm a minister [laughs]! Just kidding, no! There's a process online where you can fill out some forms and then you have to get it all notarized, you have to wait for it to process and I did all of that, but it was like seriously no big deal because it's totally worth it.
Do you feel like there's been a lot of change in marriage equality over the years since you first became a public figure?
Yeah, you know I started television 14 years ago and the landscape of TV was so vastly different with like the beginning of Will and Grace, Ellen [DeGeneres] had just come out, and then I remember when I started speaking around the country for the human rights campaign, there were zero states that had marriage equality and now here we are just over a decade later, and there are 37 states. And the Supreme Court is making the decision now whether or not they will make marriage equality the law of the land and it's pretty phenomenal when you think about the polls where 30-something percent in favor of marriage equality and now it's 60-something percent. That is really an incredible social shift and that's because the community has fought really hard and because we've had allies; companies like Mariott...it makes such a difference to have corporations like Mariott standing with us and doing such extraordinary things like what we're going to be doing in Capital Pride.
Are there any specific wedding traditions that you particularly enjoy or don't like?
I love a chocolate fountain. I don't think it should count and be legally binding if you don't provide a chocolate fountain. That's what I think. But then the garter belt to me, I never got it- when girls hike up their dress and have a garter belt, I never liked that...so there you go, those are my two wedding do's and don't's. [At George and Sean's] wedding, it's a wedding with two grooms and I think the float might be a little bumpy for a chocolate fountain.
Do you think you might officiate more weddings in the future?
You know, I think I might be really good at it and I might get a hankering to do some more so hey! If you want to get married--and I am open to gay marriages, straight marriages, transgender marriages--you want to get married, you want me to marry you, give me a shout-out!
Do you feel like we're in a better place in terms of gay acceptance than, say, 20 years ago?
I think we're in a far better place just reflected in the polls when you look at the percentage of support on marriage equality. I think it's reflected in the media. When I grew up as a gay kid in a small farm town back in the 80's, there was no one I could point at on TV and say, "Oh, I can grow up to be that.” I didn't know what it meant to have to grow up to be an openly gay successful person because it wasn't represented. But now I think whether you are gay, straight, transgender, whatever, there are so many [public figures] in the media and say, "I can be that"...and now there are huge corporations like Mariott taking a public stand with me with this amazing couple doing something so groundbreaking. And I hope the Supreme Court lands on the right set of history with this decision, and if they do, I think it means legally we have equality and now it's just about pushing that cultural shift and how we're no longer tolerated, but celebrated.