March 3, 2010
Posted: 06:09 PM ET
Today is the first day same-sex couples can apply for a marriage license in the District of Columbia. Chris McLaurin and Devin Crock went to apply early this morning and wrote this LKL Web Exclusive for us about their experience.
Two and a half years ago when we met and began dating, marriage wasn't a given for us. Six months ago when we got engaged, marriage still wasn't a possibility. It was not until yesterday afternoon, when the Supreme Court denied a petition seeking to delay DC's marriage equality law, that we finally realized we would be going to the courthouse. Despite this uncertainty, we have been excited and ready for this day for a long time.
Do most couples feel as nervous as we did before going to the courthouse? We read and reread the DC Council web site for up-to-date information on the marriage license process. We were unsure how many people would turn out and whether there would be protesters, so we decided to arrive early. We woke early and by 7:05 we were at the DC courthouse – number sixteen in line (our new lucky number??).
The atmosphere was jovial and friendly, almost electric, which contrasted with the sterile, bureaucratic interior of the courthouse. Standing in line, we met numerous couples - all with the same nervous and excited smiles that we wore. We shared stories about who proposed to whom, and how we had met our future spouses.
Everyone's story was unique. For us, the wait has been relatively short. Some couples had been waiting over a decade to get married. The uncertainty of this day, and the combined waiting time experienced by each couple, seemed to increase the emotion in the building.
Multiple reporters interviewed us, and they all asked the same thing: why now and why here. The answer for us was simple: DC is our home and we do not want to wait for fear that Congress, the courts, or a voter initiative will overturn the marriage equality law.
We have decided on a small civil ceremony at the courthouse this March. In September, we will have a weekend-long party, at the beach, with friends and family. If we weren't afraid of having this right taken away from us, we may have waited and combined a larger wedding ceremony with our dream reception. Instead we will take care of the legal aspect first, the party can come later.
Today was a really special day in our lives. We will always remember March 3. It is amazing that a normally mundane and bureaucratic process such as this could be so moving.
It is true that most couples filing for a marriage license do not have to worry about whether the Supreme Court will delay the process or about walking outside and hearing the chants of protesters. But the Supreme Court did not delay the law and inside the courthouse we could not hear the protest chants.
What we will remember about this day is standing in line with over a hundred ecstatic couples, and how we all clapped and said congratulations after each one of us filed our applications. With each jurisdiction that moves towards full marriage equality we will rejoice with the LGBT community and our allies. But one day gay marriage will lose its notoriety and become simply marriage.
The Washington Post wrote in an editorial, "Over time...it is our hope and expectation that gays and lesbians marrying the one they love will be unremarkable as a spectacle and normal as a rite." That day will come, but today we are overcome with the joy of it all.
January 21, 2010
Posted: 03:55 PM ET
McCain, who's married to Arizona Sen. John McCain, appears in a photograph on the site with a piece of silver duct tape over her mouth and the slogan "No H8" written on her cheek.
The site's owners were stunned when Mrs. McCain came to them with the idea of posing for them, they said when posting her photo Wednesday.
"We've often been surprised at some of the different individuals who have approached us showing their support. Few, though, have surprised us more than Cindy McCain," wrote Adam Bouska and Jeff Parshley.
January 11, 2010
Posted: 02:56 PM ET
Note: Tomorrow night - Larry King Live will have an EXCLUSIVE interview with the attorneys challenging Proposition 8: Theodore Olson and David Boies. We'll also talk to Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award winning screenwriter of the 2008 film, "Milk."
San Francisco, California (CNN) - They've been committed to each other for eight years and have four sons together, but there's a component missing in one Berkeley, California, couple's life that's out of reach for them: getting married.
Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier's partnership is one that has taken center stage because of the ongoing debate on same-sex marriage in California.
On Monday, the spotlight will be even brighter, when a trial challenging California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, begins in U. S. District Court in San Francisco. Demonstrators are expected to be out in force.
Plans had been made to have a camera in the courtroom, and the proceedings distrubuted on YouTube, but the ballot initiative's sponsors prevailed in their 11th-hour bid to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to restrict distribution of video of the trial - at least temporarily.
The justices wrote in their terse order that they need until at least Wednesday afternoon to consider the camera issue.
Perry and Stier, along with Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami, of Los Angeles, are the two couples at the heart of the case, arguing that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. They are asking Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker to issue an injunction against Proposition 8's enforcement.
The case will likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court no matter what the outcome. It is expected to set legal precedents that will shape society for years to come and result in a landmark court decision that settles whether Americans can marry people of the same sex.
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