I Now Pronounce You MARRIED

Yesterday, New Mexico State District Judge Alan Malott issued the order: all clerks in Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties must begin issuing marriage licenses “without regard to the couples’ sexual orientation or gender” by today at 8 am, making them the second and third counties in which same-sex marriage is legal.  As of this moment, 6 pm on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, same-sex marriage is legal in a total of 6 New Mexico counties: Bernalillo, Santa Fe, Doña Ana, Valencia, San Miguel and Taos.

I promised myself years ago that when marriage equality came to my city, I wouldn’t miss the party. Equality New Mexico and the Democratic Party of New Mexico hosted a mass wedding celebration at Albuquerque Civic Plaza at noon, so I went there. Early.

Very, very early.

But it could not have been a prettier day if we’d ordered it up special, so I found a shady spot where I could see happy couples emerging from the county clerk’s office and settled in with my Kindle.

Soon, people began to arrive and prepare: flowers, a sound system, and excitement.

And media. Lots of media. Since I was there so early I’d staked out my spot. I think it may have been physically painful for the media people to see me, with my little Canon PowerShot, in the prime photographing spot while they jockeyed for position with their giant cameras.

There were lots of people on hand to perform weddings. The man on the right is Rabbi Harry Rosenfeld of Congregation Albert.

It’s always good to see bored cops at events. The opposition (Which is a funny way to put it; what do they oppose? LOVE???) was one man with a sign. He had three friends with him. They gave up and went home not long after they arrived.

Showing off the piece of paper that represents all that has been denied them for so long. It looks just like mine! Hooray equality! Hooray love!

Judge Jason Greenlee begins reading the vows, using spouse throughout. He declared everyone married and the crowd erupted with joyful shouting and whistling. After the mass wedding, some of the couples peeled off to request vows with clergy of their own faith tradition.

There were a lot of people shooting out flames of happiness.

I’m so proud of my city, and so happy that we have taken this giant step in the direction of real equality for all our people!

I’ve been waiting years for my own marriage to stop being a privilege that is vaguely tainted by others’ lack of access to it. Today, here in my city, my marriage feels cleaner and lighter because any two adults who want a marriage can have one. That doesn’t weaken my marriage; that strengthens it.

It’s a good good good day. Congratulations to all the newlyweds (though of course some of you have been married in all ways except this one for much longer than I have). May your lives together be filled with love and laughter and all the recognition that many of us take for granted. Congratulations New Mexico!

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Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin: Historically

If you truly love someone, do you deny them the best that life has to offer?

I don’t hate Native Americans; I just think things will work out better for everyone if we move them to their own special areas.

I don’t hate people with cognitive disabilities; I just think they shouldn’t be allowed to have babies.

I don’t hate Jews; I just think they should wear a star on their clothes.

I don’t hate the Japanese; I just think we’ll all be safer if we put them in camps until the war is over.

I don’t hate women; I just think they belong in the kitchen and not the voting booth.

I don’t hate black people; I just think they should sit at the back of the bus.

I don’t hate Muslims; I just think they should dress like regular Americans if they want to live here.

I don’t hate Mexicans; I just think we can’t be too careful about making sure they’re here legally.

I don’t hate fat people; I just think a thin person would be better at this job.

I don’t hate gay people; I just think they shouldn’t be allowed to get married.

For Brian on our 12th (!!!) anniversary. My companion, friend, partner, and lover, I can’t imagine my life without you, can’t bear to think of a world in which you are not my spouse. I pray that before the next 12 years of our marriage have passed, love and justice will grow in our nation until every couple who wants to be married, will be married.

Happy anniversary to my beloved. You’re my favorite.