I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed with joy today, as I congratulate a whole bunch of newlyweds.
Late yesterday afternoon, a judge overturned Amendment One, the regrettable attempt to institutionalize bigotry against LGBT folks.
I didn’t get to stay for the weddings, which happened in the evening, but I did get to share a wedding day with friends.
The first wedding was that of my friends Lauren White and Amy Cantrell, who were married by the Rev. Lisa Bovee-Kemper. Friends standing nearby held the couple’s twin daughters. The wedding was delayed for a few moments by a dirty diaper, but Lauren says that’s just the beautiful mess that her life is now.
The girls are just 8 months old and had no appreciation of the history being made by Amy and Lauren, who were arrested last year for applying for a marriage license and refusing to leave the Register of Deeds office.
This time, the Register of Deeds, Drew Reisinger, was near tears of joy as he issued licenses and dozens of people cheered nearby.
Jan and Angie Buchanan, who have been together for 13 years, finally were able to make their life commitment legal.
And possibly the most beautiful thing was that no haters showed up to spoil this beautiful wedding day. They stayed over at City Hall with a Christian Flag, while we definitely felt a sacred spirit a few blocks away at the County Office Building.
People opposed to these marriages held a press conference accusing Drew of breaking the law by staying open late to issue the licenses. It seems a little like Gov. George Wallace standing in the doorway to attempt to keep African-Americans out of the University of Alabama. He was trampled by history and these people will be as well.
To be honest, when I wrote a column calling for marriage equality 16 years ago, I didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime.
I wanted my sister and the woman she loved to be able to enjoy all the rights and benefits my husband and I have and it made no sense that they were being denied because of people’s religious bias. That’s unconstitutional.
I got a ton of hate mail and “Christians” calling me to quote the Bible as backup for their hate.
I quoted Jesus right back at ‘em. I grew up Baptist. Don’t think you can beat me in an argument by quoting the Bible. Once I have quoted you passage for passage, I’ll throw the First Amendment at you because your religion isn’t supposed to trump people’s rights in this country.
My sister lived in Massachusetts and was able to marry the love of her life before she died eight years ago. I can’t even put into words how important that was to me (and to her and my sister-in-law).
So, as I stood with friends who finally were about to realize their dreams yesterday, I was overwhelmed with emotion — as I still am.
As Rev. Barber has said on many a Moral Monday, “What a day!”
Leslie Boyd is a former newspaper reporter who has become an activist for social justice issues. E-mail her at email@example.com.