That time I wrote a speech for Lance Bass

Pride retrospective: Speech to LGBT newlyweds following repeal of prohibition on same-sex marriage

To celebrate NYC Pride from June 23–25, below is the unedited speech I wrote for *NSYNC alum Lance Bass who served as our “Love is Love” ambassador during a mass LGBT wedding in Fort Lauderdale to mark the lifting of prohibition on same-sex marriage in Florida. It was delivered in January 2016 to 100 newlyweds by Bass, who was joined in his roles as the wedding’s “Love is Love” ambassador by then-new husband Michael Turchin. The pair was fresh off their E! network special, Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding — the first American television broadcast of a celebrity marriage between two men.

LANCE BASS: Good morning, and welcome to your place in history. Never before has the sun risen above Fort Lauderdale on such a momentous occasion.

And when it sets on today, there will be 100 more couples in this world that can share in the joy, passion, and sanctity of marriage, that otherwise may have missed such a beautiful opportunity if not for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

I think I can speak for everyone when I thank them for inviting us all here today.

When I was asked to join you all as “Love is Love” ambassador, and bear witness to such a collective outpouring of affection, my heart booked a flight before I had time to even consider it.

Of course I would be a part of this.

Then I was reminded my own wedding celebration was being shared with the world today — the first national broadcast wedding ceremony between two men. And still, it didn’t skip a beat on its way here.

Because today is a day for all of us. Not just for myself. Not just for the couples here. Not even the entire LGBT community. This is a day for anyone that believes in love.

As a newlywed myself — to the amazing Michael Turchin, who is here with us — I know how a few simple words like “I Do” can have a greater impact than they sound alone.

They may be just words. But they’re words that, for the longest time, so many of us here haven’t been able to say.

Michael and I are both from the South, and so marriage equality is something we feel so strongly about. Not only can we now say it, we can shout it. And no matter who says it. It means the same thing.

That love, is love.

(Credit: Getty Images for Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)

So when the Reverend Dr. Durrell Watkins asks you today, say it with all the power and passion that has been building up to this moment.

It can be a whisper. It can be from the top of your lunges. It can be in Spanish or Italian. It can even be a look shared between two of you.

Whether you’re from one of the 18 U.S. states represented here today, or have flown in from Europe or South America.

Say it however you feel it. And know that however it sounds. It means the same thing.

That love, is love.

And when all is said and done, we’ll raise a glass together at The W Lauderdale Hotel to toast the newlyweds and this landmark occasion that commemorate marriage equality in Florida.

It is exactly one month today since the prohibition on same-sex marriage in the state was lifted.

Just 31 days.

I can tell you from experience. And anyone that has ever planned a wedding before will agree with me. That doesn’t happen. Not even for just one couple, let alone 100 couples. And yet here we are. At a gorgeous sunrise beach wedding. About to say or renew our vows.

It is because of exactly this kind of commitment that Greater Fort Lauderdale is an undisputed leader with lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender residents and tourists.

I can see why the city is home to the highest concentration of same-sex couples in the country, and one of the top LGBT vacation destinations in the world.

It has been the work of hundreds of people over dozens of years to get to this point.

And while no one person can be singled out, I’d like to introduce the host of today’s event to walk us down the proverbial aisle and begin the ceremony, Nicki Grossman, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Thank you again, Nicki, for inviting me here today to be a part of a significant moments that will lead future generations to living in a more accepting and forward-thinking world like the one you enjoy here in Fort Lauderdale.

So enjoy today. Enjoy your wedding night. And enjoy your honeymoons.

Thank you.

(Credit: Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau)

(Note: the above speech does not account for the speaker’s deviation, improvisation, adlibbing, etc.)