Two of my very best friends were married on December 29th. But, unlike many of the other couples who celebrated on that day, my friends are an opposite-sex couple and they had the freedom to marry long before 12:01 a.m.
After spending years working to win the freedom to marry in Maine, I was disappointed when I realized I couldn’t be at Portland City Hall to see the first same-sex couples wed. Of course, I was happy to be with my friends on their wedding day, I just wished I didn’t have to miss the historic events in Portland.
However, as midnight neared and I feverishly checked Twitter to see photos of the excited crowd and read the stories of the newlyweds-to-be, I realized I wasn’t really missing those marriages. I was celebrating them by taking part in the same tradition, a tradition of which same-sex couples are now a part – the tradition of marriage.
Eventually, someone in the room noticed I was glued to my phone and asked, “Who are you texting?”
I told them I was looking at coverage of the first same-sex marriages in Maine, which had just started happening at that point.
“Well,” said the groom, who himself knocked on doors so that I and other Mainers would have the freedom he had, “let us see!”
And for the next few minutes, we paused in our celebration and passed my phone around. We smiled, laughed and some of us teared up as we looked at pictures of the first same-sex couples in Maine to receive marriage licenses.
Even though we weren’t there, we weren’t missing that moment; we were very much a part of it. Marriage brings together people who love each other, and we were all a part of that.
Even though I wasn’t physically present for Maine’s first same-sex weddings, I don’t feel like I missed them. I’m looking forward to this new era of happiness in Maine, where all loving, committed couples can share in the joy of marriage.
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