Javi & Clif — March 19th, 2010
Today I felt like sharing these (I may have done it in the past) but I’m feeling all kinds of emotional after the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down DOMA.
We got married just days after Washington D.C. started issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. It was also one of the first places to issue these marriage licenses to non-residents. We had already planned the trip. Clif’s mom Shirley, whom you can see in the pics, was battling cancer. Clif’s brother Roger helped us file all the necessary forms and documents. Shirley bought us the rings, and with only a few days to plan the whole thing we were lucky to find someone to marry us.
Rev. Michael Newman (tall guy, blue shirt) is a straight man in an interracial marriage who decided to get ordained for the sole purpose of marrying gay couples in the Washington D.C. area. After Clif found an article about him on Yahoo News which included his email address Clif wrote to him explaining our situation and he immediately offered to marry us (for free). He married us, as well as two other lesbian couples (pictured above) on the grounds of the Capitol Building. It was a perfect day.
Clif and I read our vows straight from our iPhones and Clif’s mom stood up from her wheelchair and stood there besides us during the whole thing. Not only was it incredible to make that promise to each other, but it felt significant, and important. It was also a gift for Shirley to see her oldest son get legally married. She was so happy, that alone made the day incredible. Sadly we would return to Virginia just 3 months later for her funeral.
I came out 17 years ago at the age of 20. Back then all you could here was the slight murmur of the engine starting. We had Will & Grace, we had Ellen… things were reving up. Still, back then I could not have imagined all the changes that were coming. I could not have imagined a day in which I stood in front of someone and legally committed my love for him. I could not imagine the home I would build with him, or the life that we’d share. I could not have imagined a president speaking on national TV in support of my rights, and I could not imagine such broad leaps forward in the fight for equality as the one that happened today. Yes we have a LONG way to go, but you have to understand that for a gay kid coming from Puerto Rico all this still feels like the stuff of dreams.
Today is a great day indeed.