Archive - Nov 13, 2008
As we waited for the press conference to start after the final order had been signed making same sex marriages legal in Connecticut, a local television station interviewed a couple talking about their wedding plans. One of the women spoke about the overwhelming joy she felt about finally being able to get married. It struck me that with all of this talk about the defense of marriage, that I could think of no better way to defend marriage than to give more people a forum to talk about the joy that they have about being able to make a life long commitment to a person they love.
At the podium, one of the lawyers for the plaintiffs adopted a phrase that has now become a key part of our political lexicon. “We said, Yes We Can to Marriage Equality,” he stated, and continued, “Yes, We Did.”
He also noted what has gone on in other states and talked about sending a message of hope and inspiration to people across our country that are committed to marriage equality. He noted that Connecticut has a long tradition of treating citizens fairly.
On the walk over to City Hall, one opponent shouted out something like, “Fags on Parade”. The only other opposition I heard was from a man who compared the allowing of same sex marriages in Connecticut to the introduction of the state sales tax back in 1991. I’m not sure I understand the relationship, but I suspect it was his hope that it would bring about such a backlash that we would see a change in political leadership. Somehow, I just don’t see that sort of reaction. Even if we do, we it means we’re still likely to have marriage equality for at least the next seventeen years.
The entrance to city hall was festooned with white balloons and long stem red roses. People passed out bubbles to blow for the folks getting their marriage licenses. Inside the clerk’s office, they still had the old marriage license application forms.
Outside, one woman was holding a sign saying, “Love is Love”. The media loved it and took many pictures. When asked about how she felt about the picture of her holding the sign being show across the country, she noted that she was heterosexual, but that she felt it was important for all people, whether straight or gay, to get out and support marriage equality.
It seemed as if there were efforts by various activists to keep the proceedings on schedule, the news conference at the court house, the application for the marriage license, the individual press availabilities, and so on. Yet the media and the crowds don’t always cooperated, and people would try to herd the crowds to the next location.
One piece of serendipity occurred when Barbara and Robin Levine-Ritterman emerged from the City Hall. It was at the moment that the clocks in New Haven chime ten o’clock and many commented on the bells serving double duty as wedding bells.
Slowly, the crowds dispersed. One person asked a friend, “All right, should we go back to work now?” Off to the side radio news reporters spoke into their microphones describing the festive scene as they talked about this important day.