It all started with a tweet: J.K. Rowling posted a meme asking “What if Dumbledore and Gandalf were gay together?” and answered it “Then they could get married IN IRELAND!”
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 23, 2015
After the Westboro Baptist Church declared that they would picket such a wedding, Aaron Jackson, president of Planting Peace, decided to make it happen.
“We are delighted to be hosting the Dumbledore and Gandalf wedding and stand with them in the face of bigotry and celebrate equality for all,” Jackson said to The Huffington Post. “The WBC won’t have to go too far to picket this union. They can look out their front window.”
Planting Peace is a nonprofit founded “for the purpose of spreading peace in a hurting world.” The organization bought a house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church in 2013, and painted it in the colors of the gay pride flag. They called it the “Equality House,” and describe it on its website as “a symbol of compassion, peace and positive change.”
Attendees filled the lawn of the Equality House in Topeka for the wedding of the wizards on Sunday. Local actors played the parts of Dumbledore and Gandalf, along with Frodo as the ring-bearer.
“A reason so many people resonate with the Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings story is because they are about people seeking justice, struggling through these things and finding courage and strength to do what is right,” Davis Hammet, director of operations at Planting Peace, said in an interview after the event. “That’s what we feel like we did here today, and what we did when we painted the house.”
After declaring a disruption of the wedding on Twitter, the Westboro Baptist Church did not picket the event.
“This morning, they were putting up some extra signs (on the fences) for us, as they have done in the past,” Hammet said.
Members of the Topeka chapter of Journey for Justice held Kansas and American flags, blocking the view of the upside-down flags and signs at the church across the street.
The event served as a message for all to just be yourself.
“Whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, we say this: you are loved, you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are valued, there is nothing wrong with you, you are perfect, you are not alone, you have a community of support,” Gandalf said. “Love is love, all love is equal, be proud of who you are, live an authentic life, as we have done today, never be afraid to celebrate your love.”