Today is the day that many gay couples in the District have been waiting for: wedding day. DC has processed the first batch of marriage license applications that were filed last week and will begin issuing said licenses today. Around 150 couples should have the document in hand by this evening, allowing them to marry when they see fit. A few couples have opted to make today the day they and are tying the knot at various institutions around the city.
Friday’s DC Register has an announcement about a scheduled public hearing by the Board of Elections and Ethics. On October 26th they’ll meet and listen to input on a proposed initiative, “Marriage Initiative of 2009.” It’s the usual anti-gay marriage boilerplate: an effort to put in the DC code the text “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in the District of Columbia.” The board will have to decide if this is something that actually can go on the ballot as an initiative and if it’s appropriate.
Personally I think the issue is a simple one: do you think civil rights should be up for popular vote? My vote is no, and I, like a lot of people, would expect that anyone who gets to sit in the front of the bus or at the lunch counter would agree. However that’s not the case and WaPo had an interesting article in this weekend’s edition about the stark difference in opinion on gay marriage when you view answers in the District along racial lines. It’s worth a read.
If you want to speak at the Election board hearing you can find contact information in the public hearings section of the Sep 18th DC register.
When my darling then-fiancée and I finally settled on Ocean City, MD as our location for getting hitched, we had to confront the same challenge as a lot of our fellow heathens: who’s going to perform the wedding? Say what you want against tithing or organized religion, but it provides an infrastructure that can be a pain to duplicate.
Or not, if you believe the Washington Times’ article about people turning to mail-order ordainment so they’ll have an officiant for their wedding. A hop, click and a few bucks gets one of your friends or family members a certification as a minister, freeing them to perform your ceremony under the laws of Maryland.
Did you notice that I specified Maryland?
I’m going to be [even more] scarce around these parts for the next week, as my darling fiancée and I are tying the knot tomorrow afternoon. Any of you with magical anti-rain powers can consider this your official last-minute invitation to the wedding. The rest of you, I’m afraid, will have to settle for being in our thoughts. If you want to feel like a part of the event, you can head over to Georgetown Cupcake and get yourself a chocolate&vanilla or a vanilla&chocolate, which are what we’re serving in lieu of cake. Watch this space for a review about how well the cupcakes handle a three hour drive to Ocean City.
If anyone expresses an interest I may write a little about our venue searching from last year and some of our experiences making this happen, but before our big day I wanted to take a minute and write a little about the situation and options for same-sex couples looking to partner up in our area, or for straight couples who, for whatever reason, need to protect themselves without marrying.
And if you’re a long-term partnership, gay or straight, you do need to protect yourself. I won’t belabor the point beyond saying that last year I saw two different people lose their young and otherwise healthy partners to a fatal aneurysm. Loss can come unexpectedly and ignoring the possibility doesn’t make the inevitable consequences go away.
There seems to be a sizable across-the-nation protest shaping up for this weekend. In our area it’ll be in front of the Capital, of course, but there are sites listed in Baltimore and Richmond as well. Here’s hoping the 2,500 maybe-attending folks listed on the DC protest’s Facebook page will brave the rain and make some noise.
1:30pm Nov 15th
U.S. Capitol Reflecting Pool:
100 Constitution Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002