Married, Baby

60 Moments that Gave Me the Chills During Seattle’s First Day of Marriage Equality (via Evany) reminded me of the day I went down to San Francisco’s City Hall to photograph the couples who married during the month that Gavin Newsom granted marriage licenses to about 4,000 couples. California is the only state that once granted same-sex marriage licenses and has since discontinued the practice.

Weddings always make me cry, but right now I’m weeping openly in a coffee shop. The women who’ve been together 36 years? The young couple holding their new baby? I find it strange and awful that people who’ve made such profound commitments still can’t marry in many states. Congratulations, Seattle!

Is marriage for same-sex couples legal in your state? And how do you feel about it? Have your opinions changed over the years?

Photo by Matt Stopera.

30 thoughts on “Married, Baby

  1. Anchorage, Alaska still doesn’t have a law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgendered identity. We are decades away from allowing same sex marriage unless something comes down from the federal level.
    We are headed to Boston in the spring to get married 🙂 Then we’ll have a non-legally binding ceremony here in Alaska in the summer.

    Love is love.


  2. My home state, YES! The state where I live now, sadly no. I simply cannot understand why many individuals in our society continue to reject marriage equality.


  3. Here in PA, it’s not legal. I grew up in a very conservative Catholic family so I was taught that being gay was wrong. But as I grew older, my own opinions changed and evolved. For years, I was “fine” with people being gay but wasn’t too sure about gay marriage. These days, my stance has evolved to support gay marriage–or more generally, my stance is that all people should have equal rights. So no matter what the issue is, I don’t think that citizens should be voting on what rights some other citizens have. To each their own, I say. I’m still a practicing Catholic, by the way, but on this issue, my belief is it is not my place to judge others or regulate others…and I’m teaching my kids that good people come in all different shapes, colors and sexually orientations.


  4. This is my city! We are so proud and happy that the referendum passed. Watching results come in election night, the issuing of the licenses and now the weddings; there has be a lot of teary eyes around these parts! Love wins!


  5. In 18 days anyone will be able to get married here in Maine. I am so happy! My friend and fellow teacher FINALLY gets to get married. The outpouring of support from our middle school students for the ballot measure led to their teacher coming out to them the day after the election, which was such an amazing experience for everyone involved.


  6. I live in DC where marriage equality is legal and my wife and I were able to get married back in 2010. I’m so excited that marriage has expanded to so many more states this year (including our neighbor, Maryland)!


  7. Yes, we live in Washington state (on the East side) and are so, so proud that our state voted to make gay marriage legal. As my husband says, “Gays have every right to be just as miserable as the rest of us!” 😉


  8. Not anymore.

    My wife and I got married at SF City Hall on the first day it was allowed: June 17, 2008. When you are part of the lgbt community, you learn that your rights are often not the same as everyone else’s and that they can be taken away. You can’t afford to wait because who knows what the next day will bring.

    We had an amazing, joyous day. It was a true community experience; strangers and friends alike were warm and welcoming – giving out cupcakes and flowers and smiles and hugs.

    We spent the next months on street corners with “No on 8” signs, getting shoved, kicked, and spit on and having the foulest language and hate directed at us. Someone actually drove up on the curb outside the Mormon Temple in Oakland and tried to run over my wife (or, more accurately, to give her an extremely near miss in order to scare her badly). Their kids were in the SUV and they were heading to the Temple. My wife used to be Mormon, so this was an extra kick in the gut for us.

    All our extra cash that year went to fight Prop 8. Because really, what is a vacation or a latte when your dignity and rights are at stake?

    We also met some wonderful lgbt folks and straight allies. The average people who stepped up and did the right thing were the most moving. One night a middle-aged straight guy who was getting gas at the station on the corner stopped and stood with us for an hour in the pouring rain and staunchly endured the taunts and hate we had been experiencing for weeks. One straight woman dressed up every night – nice clothes, big umbrella for the rain – and stood with our group because she said it was not okay for her kids to grow up with inequality and hate.

    I have some photos on my flikr page from that time – link is above if you want to see.

    As this made its way through the courts, up to the Ninth Circuit, I’ve remained hopeful. Now it’s time for the Supreme Court; they should hear the case around the time of my 5th anniversary. I, like most lgbt Californians, are ready for this to be over. This has been going on for my entire almost-5 year marriage.

    Here is a good, short NYT op-ed piece on how we need more than the courts to support marriage equality: Check it out if you have about 5 minutes.

    Thanks, Maggie, for including your lgbt readers and their families on your blog. It means more than you think.


  9. Wow–what a great montage. I live in Mass, where it’s shocking to think it’s been legal here for over eight years now (eight!). I’ve been married seven of those, but we never, ever, EVER fail to jump up and down and generally freak out when another state legalizes. We never take it for granted either. This election was a pretty emotional one. Here’s hoping for even more soon!


  10. Legal here in NY and we waited up as the vote went down late the night it passed. Our son really wanted the Marriage Equality Act to pass and called to lobby four Republican State Senators in the days leading to the vote. Three offices were lovely and in the fourth, the woman almost had a fit. I had to get on the phone and explain why this issue is important to a kid who ‘can’t even vote yet.’ I pointed out that while he can’t vote, his friends’ parents can, and they would like equal rights. I also told her that if you don’t teach kids about their civic responsibility when they are young, it is less likely they will be involved, and yes, voters when they grow up. She was still indignant. I suggested perhaps it upset her to think about the fact that we discuss these issues with our children. She hung up on me. We remain committed to teaching our children that everyone should have equal rights and to fighting to get them across our great land. Thanks for this post–I went through all the pictures and cried and laughed and smiled.


  11. These pictures rather made my day. I live in New Jersey and we have civil unions but my girlfriend and I will wait for the real deal. Here’s hoping that the spring Supreme Court rulings will make our marriages legal nation wide.

    And Maggie, thanks for the link and the support of families like mine. I’m with Wen who noted above that it means a lot. It does.


  12. Unfortunately, not legal in my state (NC). In fact, though my city (Asheville) fought hard against it, the rest of the state passed a constitutional ban gay marriage this spring. We have many LGBT friends and it breaks my heart that they don’t have the same rights and privileges I get to enjoy simply by being born straight. One day, I know all states will give this right!


  13. We live in Iowa and I grew up in Washington – I’m so thrilled with both states! I love those pictures – they make me cry too. It’s nice to have happy tears about the state of things these days.


  14. Not legal in Ohio now. But I have hopes that it will be in our future. With each state that is added to the list I feel such hope for the children-that they may be able to live in a country that loves and supports them no matter who they love. I already see signs of change in the rural area where I work. We have students in our JHS/HS who are out, who are coupled and no one even thinks twice about it. 15 years ago when I was a student in a much more liberal part of our state this would have been unthinkable. Perhaps by the time my five year-old son reaches his young adult life it won’t even be something we discuss. Wouldn’t that be amazing?


  15. I’m from Canada too. One of my proudest moments as a Canadian, was when Parliament briefly considered re-opening the same-sex marriage debate. They basically held a vote on “Do we even OPEN another debate on same-sex marriage?” and it got voted DOWN. Never mind spewing hatred over it, they didn’t even want to talk about it again! So it’s a done deal. YAHOO!


  16. Same-sex marriage is not legal in Minnesota, yet. We just had a great election where most of the state voted “no” on the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Now the next step is to legalize it, which I am certain will happen very soon!


  17. I live in North Carolina. Voters added an amendment to the State Constitution defining marriage as one man and one woman.

    My home state is Oregon, which has an identical amendment. I’m hoping the goodness coming out of Washington goes South.


  18. Wow, these comments are amazing.

    I held my little, Californian, Catholic preschoolers up to the computer to show them these pictures of love and tell them how beautiful it is when two people get married. Here’s hoping/working for change in our state and our church!


  19. I am always happy to live in Seattle, and extra happy to these days. The street party when Ref 74 passed was maybe more emotional than after Obama’s first election, and I was so happy to be part of it.


  20. Same sex marriage is not legal in the state of MO. I come from a conservative Democratic Southern Baptist home. None of that stuck. My mom and I argued the issue when it was on the ballot in OK. It was and is the one thing we disagree on. She claims that she voted the bible. I tell her that’s all fine and good if marriage had anything to do with the bible. In this country, marriage is not about religion. It’s about basic civil rights. It’s about making sure that my friend Turayis gets to keep the home she lives in with my friend Jen if something (God forbid) were to ever happen to Jen.


  21. My older brother lives in Seattle. He tweeted this on the day after election day:

    “If you had told me when I came out in 1991 that someday I would live in a state where…”

    At which point I lost my composure and cried in my office, because my big brother is awesome and so is WA.


  22. Also, I live in Minnesota, where we managed to not make a same sex marriage ban part of the constitution. Which… no cookies, but also no switches.


  23. I live in Seattle and am so happy that we’ve legalized gay marriage here. My husband officiated our friends wedding tonight (12.12.12). They’ve been together 20 years. To see them standing up there surrounded by their friends and family was amazing.


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