If you’ve attended many weddings, you know the applause line: “I now pronounce you husband and wife; you may kiss the bride.” Since December of 2012 when Washington State’s Marriage Equality initiative took effect, thousands of marriage officiants have spoken varying versions of that line all over our state. But, as I noticed the other day at a wedding of some old friends who have really been “married” for 24 years, the applause has moved up a little earlier in the ceremony.
The officiant said, “By the authority vested in me by the State of Washington–” and we all busted out applauding.
We were happy. We were proud. We were relieved. And we were hopeful.
Happy that our dear friends could fully celebrate their love and commitment at last. Proud that our state has become one of only 16 that offers that opportunity to same-sex couples. Relieved that this right cannot be taken away, as it was in Oregon in 2004, when a voter initiative nullified our friends’ Multnomah County marriage license. And hopeful that one day in the not too distant future, Oregonians like our friends will not have to cross the Columbia River to marry their partner.
Love is beautiful. Commitment is beautiful. Pride is beautiful. Combining them all together? Makes me want to applaud again just thinking about it.
How about you? When’s the last time you’ve been able to feel pride or joy in watching a step of progress be made? Please do share. These are the best stories of all.