Last year at this time, my wife and I were planning for our wedding at the county clerk’s office. We went to the market and had bouquets of miniature red roses made, and we pressed our clothes, preparing to be one of the first same-sex couples legally married in the state of California.
It was a glorious day, full of hope and inspiration. Our UU church was there handing out flowers and wedding favors, cheering us on as each newly married couple emerged. We were even featured on the front page of newspaper kissing following our exchange of vows (see above).
I will never forget that day–how it felt to be in that office with the press and all of the happy couples waiting to get their turn, how excited everyone around us was, how good it felt to be part of history and to be securing our commitment legally. We didn’t know what would happen down the road, but we knew that we were married, and we couldn’t imagine anyone taking that away from us.
Well, a year later, we’re still married. J and I are one couple of 18,000 who were married during the short time that California practiced marriage equality. Honestly though, I think both of us feel sad today more than celebratory. I know I feel a fair amount of guilt that we somehow got to keep our marriage just because we did it before November, guilt that so many now cannot take advantage of this privilege. It’s a bittersweet sort of day for us.
Still, I mustn’t overlook the fact that my wife–my love of over eleven years–is my legal spouse in California. Our son will have both of our names on his birth certificate from the very beginning, and for these things, we really are grateful.
Happy Anniversary, my love.