Happy anniversary from DC

March 9, 2011 at 9:30 am 29 comments

By Adam Bink

I picked up today’s copy of The Washington Post, to find a very fun article on the front of the local section:

Same-sex couples lead to marriage licenses doubling

An unusual thing happened on the way to the altar in the District over the past 12 months.

At least as many same-sex couples as heterosexual couples – and possibly more – appear to have applied for marriage licenses since gay marriage was legalized in the city last March.

The total number of applications more than doubled since the first same-sex couples lined up to get their licenses, from about 3,100 in the previous year to 6,600 during the past 12 months, said Leah H. Gurowitz, spokeswoman for D.C. Superior Court, which issues the licenses.

Although the court does not differentiate between same-sex and heterosexual couples in its record-keeping, in previous years the number of applications varied by only 100 or less. So virtually all the increase is due to same-sex couples, Gurowitz said.

Not everyone who got a marriage license lived in the District. Many couples came from Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware and other states farther afield.

The court doesn’t keep track of how many couples actually wed. The licenses have no expiration date, and the only requirement is that the marriage be performed within District boundaries.

Wednesday is the first anniversary of the city’s first same-sex weddings.

And the fire and brimstone is raining down from the sky!

The article goes on to include some stories of couples and how their lives have (and haven’t) changed. The last paragraphs I found really telling. Here’s Rocky Galloway, who married his partner:

He said they have faced no discrimination or criticism for getting married. “It’s been interesting meeting people, like when we’re with the kids, and they assume that you are in a heterosexual relationship and you correct them and say ‘My partner is male.’ They get right through it,” he said. “That is to the credit of the advocacy groups and the people of D.C. and the fact that we are very transient and many, many cultures come to live in this area. We’re more open and embracing than some.”

He acknowledged that there are still detractors, those who believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman and gay unions should have another name.

“I understand what they are saying, but by giving it a different name, they would be making it different and there should be no difference,” he said. “When you call it something different, that makes it different. States and municipalities that have domestic partnership laws define those relationships as something different. With marriage, people understand the level of commitment involved. That’s what I love about the term ‘marriage equality’ – it is giving others the same rights.”

It’s nice to see the work we all do make a difference in everyday interactions. When people see loving couples, they get it.

Entry filed under: Marriage equality.

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29 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Lovely report…especially appreciate the correlation that same-sex marriage strengthens the institution of marriage, not weakens it. Amazing!

    Love the idea of neighboring D.C and Maryland(contiguous geography) offering marriage equality…Go Maryland!

  • 2. Ronnie  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:41 am


    • 3. Ronnie  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:42 am

      uggg…& check the box….(sighs)…..<3…Ronnie

    • 5. JonT  |  March 9, 2011 at 6:11 pm

  • 6. Alan E.  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Look out for the falling sky and the earth opening up!

  • 7. Peterplumber  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Just checking in to report a new development in the Pedersen v. OPM case (one of the DOMA cases).
    The defendants have asked for more time to file their motion which was due on March 11. They claim that the lack of DoJ support and the new support which is promised by the House will mean they can’t be ready on the 11th.
    Platiffs requested motion to be denied, but the court ruled in favor of the defendants and now it appears we may not hear from this case again till June 9th.

    I sent the official documents to Kathleen and I am sure she will post them and explain the situation better than I can.

    Meanwhile, if you want the documents befiore they are uploaded to scribd, please email me at peter at hot glass works dot com

    • 8. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:51 am

      HELLO!!! WELCOME P.P.!!! : D

      • 9. Peterplumber  |  March 9, 2011 at 10:32 am

        Hugs for you and your hubby. I missed you.

  • 10. Sagesse  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Big smiles.

  • 11. Mark M (Seattle)  |  March 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Lovely article :-)

  • 12. Richard A. Jernigan  |  March 9, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Exactly! ANd the fact that there has been an increase of 3,500 marriages in the first year alone proves that when marriage equality becomes law, that there are MORE people who want to get married, not fewer!

    • 13. Rhie  |  March 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm

      Yup! It’s awesome :)

  • 14. Steve  |  March 9, 2011 at 10:09 am

    SHOCKING NEWS: gay marriage leads to more marriages!

  • 15. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 9, 2011 at 10:10 am

    And the fire and brimstone is raining down from the sky!

    Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!

    • 16. AnonyGrl  |  March 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      I concur! Mass hysteria.

      That is, people in Massachussets are laughing their butts off at the idea that the world will end, as they attend the same sex marriages of friends, visit their married son and son in law, celebrate the birthday of Aunt Mary who is married to Aunt Jane. You know, Mass. hysteria.

      • 17. AnonyGrl  |  March 9, 2011 at 1:20 pm

        In fact, I am now inspired! It is time for another episode of “Maggie, Brian, Louis are riding the “special” bus”

        We see the bus, tooling down the interstate.

        Voiceover: (very matter of fact, newscaster voice) Maggie Gallagher was certain that marriage equality would lead to all sort of horrible things.

        The bus whizzes past a “Welcome to Massachussets!” sign.

        Voiceover: In interviews she said she feared that same sex marriage would lead to the destruction of the institution of marriage. She feared for the children whose parents would no longer want to get married.

        The bus pulls in to a rest area.

        Voiceover: She barely stopped short of saying that the sky would fall, that dogs and cats would live together, that there would be, in fact, mass hysteria.

        The rest area has a large sign indicating that it is a Massachussets rest area, and the bus pulls up next to it. As it does, a small crowd gathers around the bus, pointing, and laughing. In amongst the crowd, we see some same sex couples, some opposite sex couples, various families, all laughing and sharing the joke. The door pops open and Maggie steps out, and the laughter rises to epic proportions, with some people falling down and rolling on the ground laughing, pointing at Maggie and the bus, with the Massachussets sign behind it.

        Voiceover: On the other hand, maybe Maggie was right. (deadpan) Mass hysteria.

        Fade to black.

        • 18. Straight Ally #3008  |  March 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

          It’s highly satisfying that in some small way, I helped spark this. :-D

          • 19. Gregory in Salt Lake City  |  March 9, 2011 at 8:11 pm

            Mass hysteria LOL!! xoxo anony!

  • 20. Mark  |  March 9, 2011 at 10:37 am

    And with the City and County of San Francisco charging $95.00 per marriage license, if it were to double, just think how much more revenue that would mean…

  • 21. Kathleen  |  March 9, 2011 at 11:32 am

    UPDATE: Pedersen v. OPM (CT DOMA case)

    The schedule set for the court had the government’s motion to dismiss due Mar 11. Yesterday the government submitted a Motion for Extension of Time to Respond

    Plaintiffs’s RESPONSE to the government motion:

    Today, the government’s motion was granted. The Current scheduling order is suspended pending government’s submission of a status report on March 25. NOTE The original order wasn’t placed on the PACER docket, so I’ve uploaded a copy of the docket entry.

    I suspect the government will respond in a similar manner in the Windsor case, but nothing has appeared on that docket yet.

  • 22. Dave in ME  |  March 9, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Hey, Kathleen-

    I assume you store a lot of documents on your computer. How do you keep documents and emails organized so that they can be found easily? I have articles and emails saved but it seems so haphazard on my computer. It seems that it’d be easier to print and file everything in my file cabinet….!

    Dave in Maine

    • 23. Kathleen  |  March 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm

      For the cases, I have a a folder named “Court Cases” and then subfolders for each case. When necessary, I also have subfolders w/in the each case folder, e.g., if the case shifts to another court, I have a new subfolder for filings in that court, or all amicus briefs in support of one party, etc. Basically, just whatever facilitates finding the documents quickly. If I’m saving news reports on particular cases, I might add a subfolder w/in the case file for those.

      Then I also have folders that are topic specific, w/out being about any one case, e.g., DOMA, DADT,

      But I must confess that despite all good intentions, things still aren’t as organized as I’d like them to be.

      • 24. Dave in ME  |  March 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

        Hi, Kathleen-

        Thanks for the tips. Yes, I find that I just can’t seem to keep things as organized as I’d like them to be. One thing is that I send articles to myself with Safari using the reader option-it makes a nicely formatted email with the article’s title as the subject. I add the date to the front of the subject and email it to my yahoo address. But then it’s all in my mail and I haven’t figured out how to make them into documents….

        How do you save your news reports?

        I wish there were some sort of database program for easy filing of stuff like this!

        Thanks, Kathleen. And thanks for all your work on here.

        Dave in Maine

        • 25. Kathleen  |  March 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm

          Dave, if I want to save a webpage, news story, etc., as a document, I “print” it as a .pdf file. If the original url doesn’t show up in the document, I generally add that to the file’s metadata so I know where it came from.

          • 26. Dave in ME  |  March 12, 2011 at 6:55 am

            Ahhh..yes, that makes sense. I have been experimenting and, using Safari and the Reader option, I see that the print option doesn’t have the url but emailing it does. I think if you email it to yourself and then print to .pdf, you not only get the url in the .pdf but you have another copy as back up. I never thought to print to .pdf the emails.

            Thanks, Kathleen!


  • 27. Tim in Sonoma  |  March 10, 2011 at 1:42 am

    Even though I’m very angry that most States through out this (so called free country) of OURS still do not issue marriage licences to ALL it’s citizens, I’m very happy to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! to over three thousand couples in DC. Congratulations!!

  • 28. Tim in Sonoma  |  March 10, 2011 at 1:51 am

    Question to Maggie,Brian and all who are afraid of marriage equality.

    So how have you been since Myself and my husband got married ?

  • 29. Jon  |  March 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    That’s it. The sky did not fall. People get that.


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