Good news from Washington State
December 6, 2012 4:48 PM   Subscribe

Paul Harris is the head of the Marriage License Department for Clark County, in the American state of Washington. Today, after 40 years with the same man, he can finally apply for his own marriage license.

They're getting married on Monday, the first day it's legal.

You can also hear Paul talking in this podcast from OPB (near the beginning).
posted by ivan ivanych samovar (104 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
I used to work with his fiance, James. They are both eerily like Fred Rogers; very nice guys.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 4:49 PM on December 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Man tears. Awwwwwwwwww.
posted by jessamyn at 4:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's so cool! A very Hollywood twist. Congrats to them!
posted by Thorzdad at 4:55 PM on December 6, 2012


I've got so much love to give for these guys. Congratulations, Paul and James.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:56 PM on December 6, 2012


Oh, that's wonderful!

I've spent part of the day looking for pictures of couples finally getting married and it's SO CUTE. here's one and here's another.

What blows my mind, though, is that from a protest standpoint, states finally letting same sex folks get married is becoming a very non-event sort of event - as far as I've heard, the Phelps clan didn't even come to WA for it, for instance.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:57 PM on December 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


That is terrific - and awful. Nobody should regulate marriage except the two people involved... its beyond me why we allow religious and governmental institutions to control these things.
posted by blaneyphoto at 4:58 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


A lot of people suffered for a long time to make only a little progress on gay rights. But that little progress has been growing exponentially, like a snowball of progress, hurtling towards Pat Robertson
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:59 PM on December 6, 2012 [21 favorites]


There's something in my... aw screw it. This is amazing and wonderful and I am tearing up.
posted by Splunge at 5:00 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is so happy. Look at their smiles! Hurry up, every state that doesn't allow marriage equality. You're missing all the happy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:01 PM on December 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


its beyond me why we allow religious and governmental institutions to control these things

Well it involves the government because there are very useful legal rights that are granted to spouses that aren't granted to friends or roommates. Marriage is a legal construct as much as a social one. That's the whole point of requiring changes to the law to allow it.
posted by GuyZero at 5:12 PM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


That picture (and others like it, especially big galleries of them) wreck my emotions; I tearfully kvell over the couples, of course, but also feel incredibly upset that there are others who feel only revulsion and despair about them (and still aren't afraid to say so in public). But yeah, snowball of progress, good. Let's keep it rolllllliiiinnnnn!
posted by jake at 5:13 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dan Savage Has His Washington State Marriage License In Hand.

Watch Dan Savage Talk About Getting His Marriage License: VIDEO.
posted by ericb at 5:19 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's where I'm from. I'm super happy for those guys, and super thankful for Seattle, because if it had just been people in Clark County voting those old dudes would not have lived to see the day.
posted by Caduceus at 5:28 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


it involves the government because there are very useful legal rights that are granted to spouses that aren't granted to friends or roommates. Marriage is a legal construct as much as a social one.
posted by GuyZero


I'm aware of this and disagree strongly with the concept, but I won't derail the conversation here explaining why.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:38 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


> as far as I've heard, the Phelps clan didn't even come to WA for it, for instance.

The WBC and Phelps clan don't protest to protest. They protest to incite people into acts of rights violations or violence so they can sue them for profit.

When they come to Washington they seem to be politely and heavily counter-protested with a heaping side of Washington/Seattle's infamous brand of passive aggressiveness or they're mainly ignored.

I think the last time they tried coming out here there was a huge campaign on reddit to not even bother counter-protesting them and to just ignore them. They've probably realized that WA state isn't a good profit center.
posted by loquacious at 5:41 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wonderful post, and the lumberjack guys are super. I love them.

Hopefully, if SCOTUS makes an announcement tomorrow or Monday, the celebration will continue. With Maine adding marriage equality on the 29th and then Maryland on New Year's Day, with California we will be at 10 states plus DC, which would be a good tipping point.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:42 PM on December 6, 2012


Also, on the 9th there's going to be a huge wedding scene at City Hall in Seattle. I'm thinking about going down there to offer support and to just witness. Historic days like this that are this good and this happy are all too rare.
posted by loquacious at 5:44 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's funny, I said something today on Twitter along the lines of "IF my state ever passes, I'll be at the courthouse with flowers & tissues & joy" and someone in Washington tweeted back that it is a WHEN not an IF mentality that we all need to put in our heads. I'm hoping for that tipping point.

In the meantime, the schmoopy and the love, it makes me cry with joy. Love the love.
posted by librarianamy at 5:45 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


ericb: "Dan Savage Has His Washington State Marriage License In Hand.

Watch Dan Savage Talk About Getting His Marriage License: VIDEO.
"

ericb you are indeed the linkmaster. Thanks for that.
posted by Splunge at 5:45 PM on December 6, 2012


I love pictures of First Day weddings! Bring 'em on! I'll get the tissues!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:49 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


In some areas of Maryland same sex couples can get marriage licenses today! I never go into Maryland but was driving there today when I heard this on the radio. I was so happy to be stuck on the beltway during such a historic occasion!
posted by selfmedicating at 5:51 PM on December 6, 2012


Worth revisiting, from MeFi's own DaShiv.
posted by ColdChef at 5:52 PM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh, mazel tov to Mr. Harris and his soon-to-be husband! I have something in my eye, I think.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:52 PM on December 6, 2012


And yet those evil anti-gay fucks say we're the ones trying to destroy marriage.
posted by Nelson at 5:56 PM on December 6, 2012


I'm a Seattle resident with a lot of older politically active gay friends, many of whom got married over night. My Facebook feed was absolutely joyful today.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:00 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


loquacious: Oh, sure. But I figure it's a nice sign that this isn't a newsworthy high profile enough thing for them to protest. But gay marriage used to be a good moneymaker/newsmaker for them -- I saw them outside Cambridge City Hall in MA on the night they started giving out marriage licenses there.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:01 PM on December 6, 2012


Many, many more pics and other commentary on Slog:

They were lining up at midnight.

Couples.

More couples.

More couples.

Courthouse staying open late.

Paul Barwick, who tried to get a marriage license in 1971
posted by Fnarf at 6:02 PM on December 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Jesus, that's fabulous.
posted by OmieWise at 6:08 PM on December 6, 2012


Another photo gallery, from Thurston County, home of the state capitol here.
posted by Fnarf at 6:08 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man tears. Awwwwwwwwww.

I'm supplying plenty of those. The photos are wonderful. My guess is that voting for this measure will remain my proudest electoral moment of my lifetime.
posted by Forktine at 6:09 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


ivan ivanych samovar: I used to work with his fiance, James. They are both eerily like Fred Rogers; very nice guys.

It's a beautiful day in the neighbourhood.
posted by hangashore at 6:13 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't imagine what it must have been like to hand marriage licenses out for so many years while not being allowed one of his own, nor what immense accumulated joy he (they) must have felt at finally getting one. Yay for them!
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:26 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


super thankful for Seattle

It's a pretty happy time here; we have to be pretty grateful to our friends in Seattle and Tacoma who worked with us to defend our rights. I will be marrying my partner of nine years and counting soon. Not sure exactly when — we're waiting for the rush to pass and then we'll get the paperwork done, with a commitment ceremony for friends and family in the summer (hopefully, Smith Tower). Never thought I'd live to see the day, honestly, the way things had been going in other states. Things can change very quickly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:28 PM on December 6, 2012 [54 favorites]


Also, that grin on Harris' face speaks volumes.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:29 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm so proud to be a Washingtonian today.
posted by palomar at 6:30 PM on December 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Congratulations to you and your betrothed, Blazecock Pileon!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:30 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Congrats, BP! Congrats to all!
posted by rtha at 6:33 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]




What should blow your mind, and what makes this different, is that this wasn't legislative fiat, or activist judges making this happen. This is the democratically imposed will of the majority of the electorate, which as I see it, is pretty much impossible to undo. I mean even if there was another referendum next year banning gay marriage (extremely unlikely) it would likely be struck down as unconstitutional.

This is a big deal. Perhaps even bigger than "Hey gay people, you're cool now." This is the people of the state of Washington saying loud and clear that Christian white straight male is no longer the de facto "normal."
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:33 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


From one of Fnarf's great links, listing judges:

Judge Mary Yu: midnight to 7 a.m. (296-9275)

I mean c'mon! How perfect is that?!

So proud of my state, congrats BP, congrats everyone!
posted by wallabear at 6:36 PM on December 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


"I'm so proud to be a Washingtonian today."

What palomar said. I may gripe about my state on a regular basis, but today it is the best place in the world.
posted by litlnemo at 6:44 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, goddamn you for stealing our spotlight, Washington.

/Marylander :-)
posted by CommonSense at 6:48 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


litlnemo!
posted by Fnarf at 6:52 PM on December 6, 2012


From one of Fnarf's great links, listing judges:

Judge Mary Yu: midnight to 7 a.m. (296-9275)

I mean c'mon! How perfect is that?!


And read the comments - apparently Judge Yu is a lesbian and possibly engaged as well. Very appropriate!
posted by clerestory at 7:00 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


* dings on wineglass with spoon *

Can I propose a toast? Not to Washington, and not to its gay people, but to those of you here who are happy for them.

Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I was a gay kid in Texas, I would never have imagined that I would walk in on this conversation. Ever. And even though gay marriage isn't currently legal in my state, and even though I have no real plans to marry in the near future, it makes me really happy that you're happy.

Big sloppy lesbian kisses to each and every one of you. You're awesome people for supporting us.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:04 PM on December 6, 2012 [23 favorites]


Twenty-five or 30 years ago when I was a gay kid in Texas, I would never have imagined that I would walk in on this conversation.

I came out to my best friend in 1995, but didn't come out to my parents until 1999. I distinctly remember the "puppy" episode of Ellen's show someime in between those years, and one reporter saying that the next generation of children wouldn't deal with that kind of hoopla when they hcame out, celebrity or not. And I'm beginning to think they were right.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:08 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mudpuppie, right back atcha! And all of you straight people that care, really care about your fellow humans. Y'all are fucking awesome. Big sloppy kisses to every gender and... everyone!
posted by Splunge at 7:10 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Goddamn you, Washington gay people! I had things to not cry about tonight! And now I'm just gonna sit here and page through pictures of people getting marriage licenses and being all teary.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:14 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am very happy, ecstatic even for the fine folks of Washington. (Congrats Blazecock Pileon, great news). It truly was a momentous election year in this regard, dog willing it will snowball.




Speaking only for myself, I don't feel awesome for my miniscule part here in MN, just happy things are changing, and wishing as fantastic as today is for all those who so richly deserve it, that it becomes as bog standard as OSM.

But for today ****fireworks***** for all. Too long coming.
posted by edgeways at 7:16 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


If you're so inclined, you can watch a recording of the first licenses being issued here in King County (including Dan Savage and his husband Terry around 11:30 or so). Obviously, this was a big press event, as it should be. But what struck me about it was the utter civil monotony of the event. It's 60 bucks and a piece of paper on an inkjet, and this is what so many people for so long were afraid to give to gay people.

Don't get me wrong, marriage itself is one of The Most Important Things. Still, it says something that this is how the religious right apparently believes the traditional family will be destroyed: a county official signing a certificate.
posted by Apropos of Something at 8:32 PM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I want this to happen in California again, dammit.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:04 PM on December 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Still, it says something that this is how the religious right apparently believes the traditional family will be destroyed: a county official signing a certificate.

"Not with a bang but a whimper" I guess...though if the religious right starts quoting T.S. Eliot, I'm giving up from confusion.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:08 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently some Seattle judges are going to be coming in unpaid on Sunday (the first actual marriage day) and opening their courtrooms to perform weddings. The courthouse isn't heated on the weekends so they are advising people to dress warmly.
posted by matildaben at 9:14 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Actually, matildaben, they are turning the heat on this weekend.

UPDATE Thursday at 6:10 PM: King County spokesman Cameron Satterfield writes to say that "communication may have gotten crossed" and "the heat WILL be on on Sunday." HURRAH! Hot, hot weddings!

posted by wallabear at 9:23 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not to pick a nit with any of the posts above, but "activist judges" has always been a particularly foul calumny from the anti-gay noise machine, so it jars me to see it used even ironically or jokingly. Among other things, it diminishes the hard and brilliant work that plaintiffs in Massachusetts, Iowa, Connecticut, California, and Hawai'i have done to make the case that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples was unconstitutional under the state's (then) constitution. (And boo hiss to California and Hawai'i voters for amending their states' constitutions in response!)
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:00 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Big sloppy lesbian kisses to each and every one of you.

Big sloppy kisses back at you. I am just about dancing in my seat waiting for the invitations to the first weddings that I know are going to start happening here. I know so many people who have had to basically keep their relationships in the closet, despite "civil partnership" laws; the marriage initiative gives a huge public sloppy kiss to them and puts the bigots in a corner.

It's ridiculous how happy I am with this. It has no impact on my personal life, but it impacts so many people who are important to me and makes me so proud of where I live. I hope this is one of the final struggles before the entire country finally acknowledges this as a basic right.

I know I've written this a bunch of times before here, but I still can't get over how unthinkable this was to me in the 1990s when ACT-UP was big and homophobic initiatives were winning at the ballot. This feels like another era entirely.
posted by Forktine at 10:38 PM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's a step in the right direction, and it's always nice to see the photos and blog entries from days like this. It's like highly volatale concentrated joy.

The WBC and Phelps clan don't protest to protest. They protest to incite people into acts of rights violations or violence so they can sue them for profit.

That explains why they were yelling at me for "assaulting" them when one of the angel wings I was wearing in a Romaine Patterson-styled protest briefly brushed one of them. They didn't try to sue me, though.
posted by NoraReed at 11:16 PM on December 6, 2012


Big sloppy kisses for everyone! I have cried probably one hundred and fifty times about this, ever since Gregoire signed the bill back in the spring. One of my pastors was at the Seattle license-a-thon last night, wearing the rainbow quilted stole her sister made her when she was installed as a pastor at our church -- after leaving the conservative Southern Baptist college she'd been teaching at, partly over the fact that she didn't feel like living in the closet any more.

I did not, personally, do a lot to get this law passed; I donated maybe a hundred bucks, I wore a "People of Faith Approve R-74" button (and got into a shouting match about it in the supermarket), I phone-banked for a few hours. I argued a lot on Facebook, and even changed a few people's minds. There are people in this community who have worked tirelessly to get this passed, though, and they deserve especially big, especially sloppy kisses of their own.

And it keeps going! Local artists have put together 5 scenic backdrops so folks can get married other than "in a doorway in the rotunda." There is, as loquacious noted above, a big public wedding reception at the Paramount theater that afternoon; donors for that event include Chateau Ste. Michelle, a Washington winery; Heineken; the Seattle Tourism Board; frickin Pepsi; the list goes on and on. Not just hippies and queers! Totally mainstream businesses that form part of the economic backbone of the area! There's even this Wedding FAQ page on seattle.gov, which may be the most openly loving document the City of Seattle has ever authored:
Local judges have volunteered to officiate the weddings, and artists are working to create beautiful displays in front of which couples can take their vows. Community members will be celebrating on City Hall Plaza – please join us to help make this moment extra special for the couples who are getting married. . .the community will be celebrating this historic day on City Hall Plaza, on 4th Avenue, where you can cheer to congratulate each couple as they exit the building. . . We may be trying to marry a lot of people who have waited for this day a very long time. The goal is to make the day and each ceremony special. . .You will exit down our grand staircase, likely to great fanfare from the waiting crowd. . .we're asking everyone to remember that this is a big day for the couples we're expecting. Please be respectful of that. If you'd like to come down and celebrate this historic day without getting married, you're more than welcome. We just ask that you respect that for many this a serious, emotional, once-in-a-lifetime moment, so dress and act appropriately. Let's all put our best face forward and have a celebration to remember.
This doesn't feel like breaking new ground, like being on the frontier of new possibilities. It feels like the entire community is looking forward to celebrating the long-overdue righting of a great injustice. LOVE WINS, said the signs, and it did, and so did we all.
posted by KathrynT at 11:29 PM on December 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I fell asleep early last night but woke up just around midnight and was reading my twitter feed. Made me smile a lot. As noted, in some ways it's kind of humdrum. That's it? But in some way that's how it should be: it should be routine, not terribly interesting (except to those involved!) But it sure was nice to see two "little old ladies" finally get a marriage license. I imagine I'll have some tears in my eyes Saturday when all those marriages happen.

Also, assuming the US Supreme Court declines to hear the California Prop 8 case appeal, then a full 20% of the country (by state, probably higher by population) will have legal gay marriage soon. It makes the federal Defense of Marriage Act just seem extra wrong. (I won't speculate on what will happen if the SC takes the Prop 8 case ...) It's seems really sudden to me how fast it's changed the last decade.
posted by R343L at 11:41 PM on December 6, 2012


By population, with California we'd be at something like 30%.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:41 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whenever I'm feeling bad, having a hard day or a fight with the wife or just a little depressed, I think back to the best thing I've ever done (well, besides having a child. That's better, but officiating eight first-day weddings was pretty damned close).
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:14 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I sure hope the Supreme Court overturns California Prop 8, but I'm awfully nervous. And if they don't we have a terrible precedent set. Also even if it is overturned it won't undo the pain that the majority of my neighbors voted to keep me a second class citizen.

Kudos to Washington and all the happy newly married couples, it's great. But it won't be truly marriage rights until it's recognized at the federal level. The good news is the victories in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington this year have demonstrated a groundswell of support for gay marriage.
posted by Nelson at 7:11 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm an adopted Marylander, I guess, since I've now lived here for 9 years. The people of my home state of Louisiana continues to shame me by voting in favor of hatred and bigotry. The people of Minnesota, where I lived for 4 years, voted against that kind of bigotry. When I went to vote in November I voted against Romney rather than for Obama. But I proudly and enthusiastically voted for marriage equality. I look forward to the day that my gay friends in Louisiana and Minnesota and Texas have the same rights as my gay friends in Maryland now do, and I hope that these changes make it easier for gay people everywhere in the US to be treated with the respect and love that all people deserve.
posted by wintermind at 7:24 AM on December 7, 2012


When same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004, the other big legal change that year was to allow sale of alcohol on Sundays.

Recreational marijuana trumps that.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 7:45 AM on December 7, 2012


"activist judges" has always been a particularly foul calumny from the anti-gay noise machine, so it jars me to see it used even ironically or jokingly.

We had this problem back in Vermont when civil unions were first made legal in 2000. The deal was that the state supreme court had ruled that the state constitution forbid the state discriminating against who they gave state marriage benefits to and so the legislature enacted civil unions while a lot of people fumed that they weren't able to vote on this idea (and still others were pissed at the separate but equal vibe of civil unions). They started a crabby TAKE BACK VERMONT campaign that claimed to be sort of libertarian but was really basically homophobic.

I was a tech-savvy nerds even back then and I registered the takebackvermont.com domain and used it as a bit of a mouthpiece for why civil unions were a great idea.

In 2009 the legislature approved gay marriage, overriding a Republican governor's veto. We've still never put marriage equality up to a popular vote. I know every state has to come at this differently, but I've always been a little happy by how this all went here.
posted by jessamyn at 8:02 AM on December 7, 2012 [3 favorites]


SCOTUSblog has announced they will begin liveblogging at 2pm EST. I don't know if they know something we don't, but they weren't liveblogging last Friday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:10 AM on December 7, 2012


Honestly, I'm ashamed that we had to put it to a popular vote; civil rights shouldn't be subject to the whims of the majority. I think the way they did it in VT and IA was better, even though our way seems more grumble-proof.
posted by KathrynT at 8:28 AM on December 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you, Jessamyn, for your work on that. And thanks to all the allies who helped make this (and marriage equality in all the states so far) happen.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:34 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've spent part of the day looking for pictures of couples finally getting married and it's SO CUTE. here's one and here's another.

Regarding the photo linked at 'here's another' ...

Photo of couple applying for marriage license goes viral
There have been many powerful images made as the process for legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington has worked its way through debate, legislation, a vote and is now becoming a reality for many couples.

But none of those images have struck a chord like the photo above by Seattle photographer Meryl Schenker.

The picture shows Larry Duncan, 56, and Randy Shepherd, 48, as they apply for a marriage license in the King County Administration Building.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, they told Schenker they moved to Washington 7 years ago because it was more gay friendly.

... The soft-spoken couple from North Bend, who have been together for 11 years, finally reached the front of the line about 1:30 a.m. As they took an oath in front of a representative of King County, Schenker captured the simple moment with a master’s eye. She said that as part of documenting the event, she was looking for a picture that would challenge stereotypes.

When told today that the photo was being shared on social media and starting to appear on national blogs, they both laughed. “That’s just who we are,” said Shepherd.
posted by ericb at 8:45 AM on December 7, 2012 [4 favorites]


SCOTUSblog has announced they will begin liveblogging at 2pm EST.

*twitches*
posted by rtha at 8:48 AM on December 7, 2012


In related news: Portland, Maine to Open Early for Midnight Gay Marriages on December 29.
posted by ericb at 8:51 AM on December 7, 2012


Regarding the SCOTUSblog thing: this is what they said yesterday:

At tomorrow’s Conference, the Court will consider ten petitions presenting issues relating to same-sex marriage....

When the Court does act on the cases, which could be as soon as tomorrow afternoon, we will have full coverage and analysis from the blog’s staff. We will also host an online symposium featuring commentary and analysis from scholars and practitioners on both sides of the same-sex marriage question, including Neal Devins of William and Mary Law School, William Duncan of the Marriage Law Foundation, William Eskridge of Yale Law School, and Kenji Yoshino of NYU School of Law.



FWIW 10 petitions is fully half of the petitions before the Court today. It certainly has arrived at the High Court's door in a virtual wave.
posted by edgeways at 9:12 AM on December 7, 2012


Okay, crybabies! Let's see how many of the follow wedding videos you can get through without getting misty-eyed, or at least hurting your cheeks from wide 'Cheshire-grin-like' smiles:
Eli and Dave.

Tony And Kevin.

Joanna And Jenny.

Robert And Nathanael.

Kenton and Johnny.

Jeff and Joe.

Tim and Nic.

István And Tamás.

Aaron And Corvette.

Patrick and Scott.

Jason and Paul.

Ruben and Joaquín.

Randy (grandson of late televangelist Oral Roberts) and Keaton.

Source: Towleroad -- a website/blog geared primarily towards gay men. Hence, the majority of videos depicting gay male couples getting betrothed.
posted by ericb at 10:06 AM on December 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite comment so far from one of the folks on the SCOTUS blog liveblog:

Eveb a shift along the San Andreas fault would not be likely to lead the 9th CA to lift its stay before there is something definition from SCt on Prop. 8.
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on December 7, 2012


As rtha hints at, for what it's worth, SCOTUSblog is live-blogging the (possible) orders today.

However, they do not know when this is will actually happen, so they started early (to prevent constant refreshing, it seems) and are killing time filling time. For some reason, it is really amusing me. And educating me. But mostly amusing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:02 PM on December 7, 2012



Lyle:

We have the orders now. Prop. 8 is grantred. So is Windsor. Those are the only two marriage cases granted.

posted by rtha at 12:14 PM on December 7, 2012


Wait what does that mean?
posted by KathrynT at 12:15 PM on December 7, 2012


It means we wait until June on Prop 8 and DOMA.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:17 PM on December 7, 2012


It means I'm going to wear a hole in my foot from tapping impatiently.
posted by rtha at 12:18 PM on December 7, 2012


More about Windsor and Perry aka Prop 8.
posted by rtha at 12:22 PM on December 7, 2012


Prop. 8 was granted on the petition question -- whether the 14th Amendment bars California from defining marriage in traditional way as well as whether the backers of Prop. 8 have standing in the case under Article III.

Explanation from the blog: it is clear that the Court has agreed to consider the merits case in Prop. 8, because that is what the petition presented as its question, but that it is also going to address whether the proponents had a right to pursue their case. If the Court were to find that the proponents did not have Art. III standing, that is the end of the matter: there would be no review on the merits of Proposition 8, or of the 9th CA decision striking it down.


In Windsor, the questions are (1) whether Section 3 of DOMA* violates equal protection under the 5th Amendment, (2): does the fact that government agreed with the 2d CA decision deprive the Court of jurisdiction to hear and decide the case, (3) whether BLAG (House GOP leaders) has Article III standing in this case.

From the liveblog:

The case has agreed to consider the merits issue of the constitutionality of DOMA Section 3, it has also given itself the option of not deciding that issue. If it finds that neither the Executive Branch could bring its appeal, and that BLAG lacked Art. III standing, then presumably both of those petitions would be denied. At that point, then, the Court might have to consider whether it wants to hear another DOMA case. But that probably would not be done in time for this term's close.



* Section 3
In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word 'marriage' means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word 'spouse' refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:24 PM on December 7, 2012


I knew I should have waited before posting as the summary makes a much easier explanation:


There is a good deal of complexity in the marriage orders, but the bottom line is this: the Court has offered to rule on Prop. 8 and on DOMA Section 3, but it also has given itself a way not to decide either case. That probably depends upon how eager the Justices are to get to the merits; if they are having trouble getting to 5 on the merits, they may just opt out through one of the procedural devices they have offered up as potentials.

BTW Although the Court is ruling on Prop. 8, there is nothing in the order that would lift the 9th CA's stay. So marriage licenses in Calif. will have to wait until this case is decided.

posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:26 PM on December 7, 2012


Supreme Court On Gay Marriage: Prop 8, DOMA To Receive Hearings
posted by homunculus at 1:02 PM on December 7, 2012


The Supreme Court taking up Prop 8 and DOMA is also being discussed in the recent FPP: Justice delayed.
posted by ericb at 1:10 PM on December 7, 2012


"Not with a bang but a whimper" I guess...though if the religious right starts quoting T.S. Eliot, I'm giving up from confusion.

Not sure how inclusively you are using "religious right", but Eliot is still a popular poet and often quoted by conservatives about situations such as the topic of this thread.
posted by michaelh at 4:42 PM on December 7, 2012


I am ordained via the online Universal Life Church. I live in the Seattle suburbs, and would be more than happy to officiate if there are Mefites looking for a non-religious ceremony.
posted by obol at 12:06 AM on December 8, 2012


Anyone planning on going to Seattle City Hall on Sunday, feel free to message me or say hello if you see me there.
posted by loquacious at 3:48 AM on December 8, 2012


Live Stream: http://married.seattle.gov/watch-live/

Seattle residents and visitors:

City Hall plaza on 4th street side is open to the public for supporters from 10 AM to 5:30 PM. I think they've been doing weddings since midnight tonight.

The Paramount is hosting a public reception from 5:30 PM to 10 PM.

More info: http://married.seattle.gov/

I'm actually heading down there soonish for as long as I can last, hopefully checking out the reception. I'll actually be a bit dressed up. Green shirt and coat, brown/ochre long overcoat, black cap, umbrella and probably letting my hair down.

Amazing stuff. I think I'm actually happier about this than 502 and legalized cannabis.
posted by loquacious at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huge crowd of 200+

No protesters. Lots of happy people.
posted by loquacious at 11:21 AM on December 9, 2012


Washington State Gov. Chris Gregoire: On Being Witness to Extraordinary History.
posted by ericb at 1:30 PM on December 9, 2012


Oh God, that livestream from Seattle City Hall is making me all fuzzy. Thank you to all the folks who are there cheering because I'm too far away to do it.
posted by rmd1023 at 2:16 PM on December 9, 2012


Still a solid crowd. I can't feel my feet anymore.

There have been fireworks or explosions provided by either the Seahawks game or construction on the viaduct
posted by loquacious at 3:38 PM on December 9, 2012


I was down there earlier taking a few pictures and clapping.

After a while I went to the I District to get something to eat, and ended up taking a few pictures of people going to the Seahawks game too. I've never been, but mass culture like that is interesting.

I was thinking a little about the masses of people assembling in the stadium, the wave of white-noise-cheering that reached tens of blocks away, and how the city hall crowd, while loud, had only a minute fraction of the participation.

But then again, I have plenty of young gay friends and I didn't see a single one of them at City Hall, which if you look at it from a different perspective is pretty heartening. I just saw one gay friend post on facebook that he was watching the Seahawks game from a bar in Lynwood. My gay roommate from college is talking about Legos and his late father. No mention of marriage anywhere.

Yesterday I bought one of Annie Bissett's Sometimes I'm Married print series. I was thinking about how things like it and Macklemore's song Same Love have suddenly been abruptly recontextualized as history for so many people. It's a weird kind of happiness.
posted by tychotesla at 3:50 PM on December 9, 2012


I spent the afternoon volunteering at City Hall and it was absolutely amazing.

What struck me more than anything was how diverse the couples and parties were: nattily-dressed men accompanied by suburban-looking families, two women who have been together for 36 years (today! it's their first-date anniversary!) and wore matching polka-dot socks, a young male couple with a 4-week old baby (they were so damned adorable), two burly gentlemen accompanied by a typically Seattle-geeky group of friends, two naval officers, two women in with a crew of young flower boys and girls, it just goes on and on.

No two groups were alike, except in the near-universal joy and and love that was palpably infectious all day.

I was also really impressed by how well-organized it was. We were pretty much running ahead of schedule all day, and it was clear that the mayor's staff had made this a labor of love, and really wanted to make sure each couple had a special day.

Made me so happy to be alive at this point in history, and proud to live in a city like Seattle.
posted by lunasol at 8:08 PM on December 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, that was really a hell of a thing. That was likely one of the most amazing days I've had in my life. I've never seen so many extremely happy people in one place, and I've seen some really large groups of happy people.

I think that might have been better than being at the Berlin Wall when it came down. I'm sitting down for the first time since about 9 AM Sunday morning. I'm just going to do a timeline because I don't know how else to describe this and I'll be leaving out too much because I'm exhausted and wobbly.

Lunasol described the couples perfectly, so I won't. They were all so adorable that my face still hurts from smiling at them.

4:00 AM: Wake up early. Can't sleep. Shower, caffeinate and dress up. Forget to eat breakfast beyond spoonful of store brand Nutella and peanut butter.

9:15: Waiting for bus. Apologize to Real Change vendor for being broke. Moments later a fellow asks to buy a smoke. Roll and trade smoke for 50 cents. Give 50 cents to Real Change vendor, who now has exactly enough for the bus.

9:30ish, arrive at City Hall Plaza among less than 10 non-staff witnesses.

!0:00 50+ people.

10:30 150-200 people waiting. Security allows celebrants to line the stairs. Surprisingly few signs brought or being held, just smiles. Maybe 3-5 signs in the crowd. "Congrats - Sorry it took so long." "Love Wins". So many cute kids and families.

10:30ish first newlyweds. Mass cheering and applause. Thousands of flowers being handed out, many by adorable kids. Loud calls from bearish couple in the crowd for "GIVE US A MARRIAGE KISS!".

11:00ish: 250-300 people. Lots of couples. Foot traffic to Seahawks game begins filtering through. Most people are supportive. Some visibly not but mainly silent. Finally run into some friends. Many of the couples have been together nearly as long as I've been alive.

11 to 3ish: Happy but cold and drizzly. Balkan style brass band shows up. Energy picks up again and the music is much appreciated. Friends and nearby neighbors in the crowd begin murmuring "I'm cold and I want to go home but too many adorable couples keep appearing." Crowd thins a bit anyway.

4ish: I'm hungry and I can't feel my feet. Regret wearing dress shoes. Hungry and too poor for food trucks. Decide to walk towards the Paramount for the reception and find a store along the way that accepts food stamps. Find the deluxe Bartell's along 4th a block away, obtain sandwich and chocolate milk and decide to go back to City Hall.

4 to 5:45: 100-150 people, many more couples Seahawks game ends and traffic begins filtering through again. Lots of honking from traffic from Seahawks fans and a victorious game, but also lots of honking for the wedding scene. Foot traffic from the game is mostly supportive except for less than 10 or so vocal pinheads - but other than that no protests, no WBC, no negative banners or signs. Minor vehicular hit and run happens. Lots of traffic chaos. Cheers for judges and volunteers. Crowd disperses.

5:45-6:00: Arrive at the Paramount to a small crowd of 20-30 waiting for opening and entry.

6:15ish: Entry. The place is decked out and drowning in roses cake, treats, candy and free wine and beer, and a DJ is playing mellow house and dance music.

7:00 to 10ish: Time gets fuzzy here due to endless free wine and beer. Crowd swells to a thousand or more. The female artist who recorded with Mackelmore for "Same Love" plays a few songs on guitar and keyboard. Senator Murray appears, announces wedding plans. Governor Gregoire appears and delivers a rousing toast. Crowd goes wild. Music artist Chocolate appears and jams with her backing band. More dance music. Local drag artist does Hedwig song with Chocolate. More dance music, this time retro.

10-12: Wander up into Capitol Hill. Scatter rose petals everywhere as I go. Get attracted to beats and bass at the new Q club. Meet random celebrating younger folk outslde. Of that group I escort one impossibly cute and bright but incredibly toasty hiccuping lesbian gal home arm in arm, use her restroom, meet her violently protective Dachshund and immediately pass the dog test. Promise to email when I get home so she knows I made it ok.

12ish: Decide to walk by Re-Bar on the way home. Find more good house music and listen to it from outside again, consider trying to ninja my way in past the cover charge like I can do sometimes there depending on who shows up. Someone offers to pay and I refuse because that's not the same challenge because I prefer "Why are you dancing outside?" "Can't afford it." "Shut up and get in there." Run into a few folks I know. See multiple couples from the City Hall weddings. Flirt with some gay boys just to confuse them and get them to ask "Wait, are you gay?" just so I can answer "Oh, totally - but I like girls." and let them figure it out. Hang out for a bit and decide home is a valid option.

1:30: Home. Feet feel like a sock full of golf balls and thumbtacks. Need water and sleep.

I've seen a lot of amazing stuff, but today and tonight was something else.

Congratulations to all. You deserve it. Sorry it took so long.

And I'm going to stop typing now before I start cutting onions again.
posted by loquacious at 2:20 AM on December 10, 2012 [10 favorites]


Senator Murray appears, announces wedding plans.

What's this, now?
posted by rmd1023 at 6:37 AM on December 10, 2012


Err, I think I screwed up the name, which is why I'd never make it in politics. Male politico announced plans to openly marry long term partner.
posted by loquacious at 6:47 AM on December 10, 2012


Ah, okay. I was pretty sure that Senator Murray was already married to a man last time I paid close attention to WA politics, so I was wondering if something surprising had happened since I moved out of the state.

I'm glad the scene in Seattle was as festive as it sounds. I had a similar experience in Cambridge, MA, when they started handing out marriage licenses. I'd never been so proud of my state or proud to be an American in favor of equality.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:33 AM on December 10, 2012


The City of Seattle has put a bunch of photos from yesterday up on their Flickr photosteam.
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 AM on December 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Gay Seattle Newlyweds Greeted by Hundreds on City Hall Steps: Video.
posted by ericb at 10:25 AM on December 10, 2012


Apparently I'm invisible or a ninja. There are a bunch of moments in that video where I should be standing right in front of the guy filming it. When those younger guys came down with their 4 week old baby I was going "d'awwwwww" and standing right next to the light/generator trailer that's lighting up the stairs.

I have yet to see myself in any of the photos or videos even after finding my friends and recognizing dozens of moments where I should be right there. Weird.
posted by loquacious at 2:52 PM on December 10, 2012


I'm sorry I missed all this yesterday, especially since I live four blocks away. But I caught some of the Seattle Channel's coverage. It's well and truly made my day today looking at the pictures. And, you know, feeling like a first class citizen.
posted by gc at 2:57 PM on December 10, 2012


"Remember those two guys with the beards, getting their marriage license? We just posted their wedding photo. Way past wonderful gets more wonderful still."
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Buzzfeed:
60 Moments That Gave Me The Chills During Seattle's First Day Of Marriage Equality
45 Things I Learned On Washington's First Day With Gay Marriage
18 Joyful Declarations Of Love From Newlyweds In Seattle
posted by schmod at 11:09 AM on December 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'M NOT CRYING I HAVE EQUALITY IN MY EYE IS ALL
posted by KathrynT at 11:54 AM on December 12, 2012 [2 favorites]


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