Saturday, December 29, 2012

Gay Marriages Commence in Maine

After successfully reversing that state's ban on same sex marriage and handing the Christofascists the first of what would turn out to be four straight losses on election day, same sex marriages commenced in Maine in the early hours this morning.  I am over joyed for LGBT citizens in Maine who have achieved equality under the civil marriage laws.  At the same time, I am left to wonder if and when Virginia - which is currently under a GOP controlled General Assembly that basically enacts whatever extremist legislation The Family Foundation demands - will similarly arrive in the 21st century.  In a future post I plan on summarizing the batshitery that the Virginia GOP will be promoting in the upcoming legislative session.  But, to get back to the happy scene in Maine, the Bangor Daily News has coverage of the first early morning weddings.  Here are highlights:

PORTLAND, Maine — The first gay couple to be married in the state of Maine took their vows in a short ceremony in the Portland city clerk’s office at approximately 12:25 a.m.

“We finally feel equal and happy to live in Maine,” said Steven Bridges, who married Michael Snell less than a half-hour after same sex marriages became legal in the state.

By 2 a.m. Saturday, the line had emptied out after a total of 15 gay and lesbian couples had acquired marriage licenses in Portland, with six of those couples exchanging vows on the spot. Another couple was married on the city hall’s front steps and then went back inside to return their license.

The hand-holding grooms sported purple carnation corsages, matching T-shirts printed with the phrase “love is love,” and grins so big they hardly seemed to fit on their faces.

Snell and Bridges, both of Portland, have been together for nine years and had a commitment ceremony six years ago, but late Friday night they were more than ready to make their love legal. The couple was the first in line to be married beginning at 12:01 a.m. Saturday in one of the state’s first legal same-sex marriage ceremonies.

Katie Snell, 27, of Lexington, Mass., Snell’s daughter, said that the couple weren’t the only delighted members of the family.  “It’s been a long time coming,” she said of the imminent nuptials. “I’m absolutely ecstatic. I’m so happy for this. I couldn’t be happier.”

Portland was one of the state’s municipalities that opened offices early so that eager couples could go ahead and tie the knot. In addition to having a clerk at hand to provide marriage licenses, the city made a notary public available to make wedding vows official. Maine no longer has a waiting period before couples can get married.

Steven Jones and Jamous Lizotte, both of Portland, wore tuxedos and arranged laurel wreaths on their heads while waiting for midnight, when they could get married.  “After nine years of being together, we decided to go all the way,” Lizotte, formerly of St. Agatha, said. When he learned that the first day that same-sex marriage would be legal fell on his 35th birthday, it seemed like a sign.  “It’s a finale,” he said. “It’s been a long time.”

Not that despite the dire predictions of the Christofascists, the world did not end and civilization did not collapse.  Also note the way the couples mentioned finally feeling equal.  The bans on same sex marriage have nothing to do with "protecting marriage."  No, their sole goal is to keep LGBT citizens inferior and to punish them for refusing to subscribe to the Christofascists' hate and fear based version of Christianity.  There will be no true freedom of religion in America until the Christofascists are defeated politically in ever state in the nation and driven into much deserved political irrelevance.  They are a cancer that needs to be removed from the political realm entirely.

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