I imagined the moment in my mind: a hotter than usual spring day at work, watching live feeds and twitter streams, waiting for news about the Supreme Court’s decision in Someone vs. The State that would change my life. I imagined the agonizing wait between the decision in some other state and the inevitable consequence in Virginia – the day we, too, would get the right to be married.
I did not imagine that I would wake up on a completely unremarkable Monday in October with a slight cold and by 11am I’d be rushing to the Courthouse. I was married on Monday. MARRIED. To my gorgeous wife. Married.
Civil rights. Civil fucking rights. They deserve their own moment. It’s all their own moment. But today is to tell you about my wedding.
In that almost-wedding-moment in August, I bought a dress that was too plum-colored and too heavy for summer. Independently, my wife’s best person helped her pick out a tie that matched perfectly. We threw them on and rushed to the courthouse to stand in line for marriage license. I guess you can’t leave rights out, after all. The room slowly filled with other couples and members of the press. The tiny space was chaotic and filled with happy families waiting for that very moment when it would be legal to sign the first license.
We couldn’t have planned it better – the press followed the first family out to the courthouse steps and in the silence, Debra and I committed to each other, again, in front of the Clerk of the Court.
The community started there, with the hugs and the handshakes from our fellow brides and grooms and the enthusiastic embrace from the Clerk. It followed us to the steps of the courthouse where we settled in to watch the string of ceremonies, listened to the happy honking from passing cars, and began to panic, a little, about everything going right.
Before we got there, we called our local families and our best friends and planned on a 3:30 ceremony. Yes, we’d have to wait two hours, but the license was in hand and we were likely to make it before the Supreme Court could take it away. There’s that rights thing, popping up again. A co-worker arrived with a veil, her own balsa-wood bouquet, and a tiny champagne bottle with paper cups. Friends left their offices. Their children walked over with picked wildflowers for RR. My parents brought RR and we slipped her into a new dress. And then it happened.
We were married. We are MARRIED. In the state that we live in. Married.
I could talk your ear off. About the press and our fellow newlyweds. About the tremendous outpouring of support from our community. About the gifts our friends gave us – their presence, a serenade from the steps, their joy in this victory. We’re married. You can share our moment here and here and here. I’m not promising this is the last you’ll hear about this. I’m still overwhelmed and a little tongue-tied. But I wanted to tell you, because you are always here to listen, that I am filled with joy and amazement and a sense of gratification.