D.C. begins same-sex marriages
WASHINGTON (AP) – One bride wore a black suit, the other had on a white one with rhinestones. They walked down the aisle to Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” and kissed after the pastor pronounced them “legally married.”
The Rev. Darlene Garner, 61, and the Rev. Candy Holmes, 53, were among the first same-sex couples to marry in Washington on Tuesday, when the district became the sixth place in the country to conduct the unions.
“You have been in love, and you have recognized it all along. But today, the love that you have recognized in your heart is recognized by the District of Columbia,” the Rev. Dwayne Johnson told the couple.
“Equality and justice for all now includes us,” Garner said after the ceremony.
Both she and Holmes are leaders in the Metropolitan Community Churches, a group of Christian churches that primarily serve the gay and lesbian community.
The district joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont as places that issue same-sex couples marriage licenses.
About 150 couples were eligible to pick up marriage licenses after applying last week. Many of them stood in line March 3 at the marriage bureau of the district’s Moultrie Courthouse for four or more hours.
Like all couples, they had to wait three business days for their licenses to be processed.
By the time the marriage bureau closed Tuesday, 42 couples had returned to pick up their licenses.
At least a dozen couples married and returned the licenses the same day.