VALERIE W. (LONG HAIR AND PANTS), OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DOCTORAL STUDENT & VALERIE S. (SHORT HAIR AND DRESS), SOCIAL WORKER
One sentence sum-up of the wedding vibe: Our beautiful, bureaucratic moment in history.
Soundtrack for reading: “Everything is AWESOME!” by Tegan and Sara feat. The Lonely Island, from The Lego Movie
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Our wedding took place on a Saturday morning, two days before Oregon made marriage legal. It was a perfect celebration of our commitment. Our marriage started then, in that moment in front of all our people, as we exchanged the words of our vows. We are both practicing gay Catholics and had a beautiful Episcopalian ceremony followed by lunch and contra dancing. We were surrounded by people who loved us on our wedding day, but also acutely aware of guests who chose not to attend due to our shared faith (and their practice of such). We are aware of the suffering of so many gay teens who have had to leave home to find safety and acceptance. We know couples who have been together since before we were born, some of whom were even legally married and then had their license revoked. We were married with such great joy, knowing full well the great miracle of our relationship and the community that supports us.
On Monday morning just as our last friends were departing town, we met on the steps of the Multnomah County building to await the judge’s decision. Two friends from Australia, our two closest local friends, and one of my brothers joined us. All we wanted was a scrap of bureaucratic paper to give us legal rights for our life together and we walked into a major moment in Oregon history.
We are so honored to receive the gift of our license. To us it is a wedding present from the many gay and lesbian couples who have taken their personal lives and made them public, sharing their stories on many platforms. To the people who took legal action, to all those who attended many protests and rallies, to those who lost their lives by violence, by illness, and by their own suffering, to every person who has come out before us: we are forever grateful.
We were among the first dozen couples to receive a license in Multnomah County, and got married (legally) that very afternoon after a Portland lunch. A simple, significant affair.
Favorite Thing About the Wedding
Our legal wedding didn’t compare in the slightest with our wedding! We were very excited to go home, license in hand, and sit on our balcony in the sun. Having our friend Lindie get dismissed from jury duty just in time to join us on the steps as we heard the judge’s decision was one of the most exciting moments of the day. Very big!