Film Brief - Same-sex wedding chapel sends Dunwoody into a tizzy
The sign announcing the arrival of a new wedding chapel was double-sided and big (5-by-5 feet, to be exact), so it was pretty hard to miss. But, though bolted to a pole on a well-traveled Dunwoody street corner, the sign probably would have gone unnoticed that Friday in April - if not for the fact that it advertised a chapel for same-sex marriages.
Atop a bright rainbow pattern, the sign introduced "Adam & Steve's - An Alternative Lifestyle Wedding Chapel." This would be no run-of-the-mill, aisle and pews affair. Adam & Steve's would come fully equipped with "a fabulous enchanted courtyard," as well as "extensive gardens, waterfalls and old Roman bathouse [sic]."
The man who designed the sign says he was "very pleased with the response." Callers to the chapel's phone number were eager to get a jumpstart on booking the facility. One caller even complained that the sign's colors were not in the same order as those on the traditional gay pride flag.
The Crier, Dunwoody's local newspaper, also was overwhelmed with calls and e-mails about the arrival of the Mt. Vernon Road chapel - though these inquiries were of a different sort. Neighbors expressed concern about how Adam & Steve's would affect the mostly conservative, upper-middle-class neighborhood. Some were worried about the proximity of the gay wedding chapel to a Catholic church. One caller "wondered how such an establishment could exist with so little available parking," the Crier reported.
It seems they weren't paying attention to the date the sign appeared: April 1.
One of the troublemakers behind the April Fool's Day prank says his intent was to "touch a nerve, because the people of Dunwoody get a little high-strung sometimes."
He also says he and his fellow social experimenters, who asked not to be identified (one of them is a "partner in a major Atlanta law firm"), regularly pull stunts such as the gay wedding chapel sign, and not just in hoity-toity Dunwoody.
"With the right opportunity we could go anywhere," he says. After all, if they ever get in trouble, they've got a big-shot lawyer in their ranks, who "has agreed to bail us out."