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!