Wednesday, March 03, 2010

In the Nation's Capital, Another Milestone for Marriage Equality

Darlene Garner (left) has a joyful tear wiped from her face
by her partner, Candy Holmes, of Washington, after the couple
obtained their marriage license Wednesday, March 3, 2010,
the first day possible for gay couples since the District of Columbia
legalized gay marriage in the nation’s capital.
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Today's New York Times says it well . . .

Gay-rights advocates hailed the day as a milestone for equal rights and a symbolic victory as same-sex marriage became legal in the nation’s capital.

Washington is now the sixth place in the nation where same-sex marriages can take place. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Despite failing in court, opponents of the law vowed to fight another day. The law survived Congressional attempts to block it, and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on Tuesday rejected a request from opponents of gay marriage to have the United States Supreme Court put the new law on hold.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty signed the measure into law in December, but because Washington is not a state, the law had to undergo Congressional review, which ended Tuesday.

Above: Rocky Galloway (left) and Reggie Stanley
celebrate after applying for their marriage license
at the DC Superior Court in Washington, DC.
(AFP/Mandel Ngan)

And here’s an except from an article in today’s Washington Post.

Couples waited in line for hours Wednesday to apply for marriage licenses on the first day same-sex unions became legal in the nation's capital.

Cheering erupted from the crowd when the first couple signed in at the city's marriage bureau inside the Moultrie courthouse, just blocks from the U.S. Capitol. By the afternoon, more than 100 couples had come to the bureau, and more than 50 had completed their applications. The rest stood in line in the courthouse corridor, checking e-mail, reading newspapers and exchanging stories with other couples.

Because of a mandatory waiting period of three business days, couples won’t be able to marry in the District of Columbia until Tuesday. But the mood Wednesday was still celebratory. Couples got cupcakes from a city councilman who sponsored the gay marriage law, and throughout the morning, people applauded as they exited the marriage bureau with their applications complete.

Sinjoyla Townsend, 41, and her partner of 12 years, Angelisa Young, 47, claimed the first spot in line just after 6 a.m. They are already domestic partners in the city but wanted to become legally married.

“It’s like waking up Christmas morning,” said Young, who teared up when she sat down to process their paperwork. “It’s really like a dream come true.”

To read this article in its entirety, click here.

Above: Sinjoyla Townsend (left) and her partner Angelisa Young,
the first couple at Superior Court to obtain their marriage license
after the District of Columbia legalized gay marriage in Washington,
earlier today. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Recommended Off-Site Links:
Gay Marriage is Legal in U.S. Capital - Ian Urbina (New York Times, March 3, 2010).
Same-Sex Marriage Leads Catholic Charities to Adjust Benefits - William Wan (Washington Post, March 2, 2010).
DC Archbishop Defends Catholic Charities’ Stand on Health Benefits - Michelle Boorstein and William Wan (Washington Post, March 3, 2010).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Mary Hunt on the "Child Neglect" of the Washington, DC Archdiocese
Revisiting a Showdown in Washington, DC
D.C. Council Calls Archdiocese’s Bluff
David R. Weiss: When Charity Becomes the Weapon
“Render Unto Caesar, Bitches!”
America’s New Civil Rights Battle
A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage
A Surprising Finding Regarding Catholics and Gay Marriage

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