Man, getting gay married is a pain in the ass.
Sure, we could’ve just done a commitment ceremony and signed some domestic partner documents in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, but we really wanted to stick it to the Straight Man, y’know? As Lance’s spiritual advisor, Dolly Parton, says, “Why can’t they get married? They should suffer like the rest of us do.”
In order to do a real honest-to-goodness marriage in the spring of 2011, our options were limited: most of New England (too far), Iowa (super too far), and the District of Columbia. California, like a bunch of buttheads, let us down with that stupid Proposition 8; we totally would’ve done a combo marriage/honeymoon in your beautiful state if it wasn’t 52.24% full of intolerant jags.
So, that left us with Washington, D.C., a pleasant two-and-a-half hour car ride from Philadelphia.
This doesn’t matter as much now that both Maryland and New York allow same-sex marriages, but if you’re keen on getting married in our nation’s capital, you should check out this website on how to do it, especially if you’re from another state. It’s what I used to try and figure out all we needed to do in order to get legally wed. This meant driving down to apply for a marriage license in person, and then there’s a waiting period of three-plus days before they will actually issue you the official paperwork. The wonderful people who work in the marriage bureau also won’t confirm a specific day and time to your ceremony when you submit your application; you have to call back at a later time to do that, since red tape is great.
Anyway, we decided to get officially, legally married on March 14, since Lance has some sort of cosmic relationship with the number “314” (there is no actual explanation for this; just know that it has nothing to do with pi). We’d save the ceremony and reception (and gift acceptance period) for the summer.
My parents drove down from Michigan, and Lance’s family came down from Pennsylvania that morning. This was big for us, particularly Lance, since it was just a few months before that the ice began to melt and his family started acknowledging Lance as the person he really is rather than a person not living up to the standards their church deems worthy (whatever, I could go off on a big ol’ tangent about this, but it’s not funny and not my story to tell, so moving along…) Regardless of all that, it was incredibly significant that our families were there, and it meant a great deal.
I sometimes get righteous and indignant about how that’s just the way it should’ve been and we shouldn’t have wondered if anybody was going to show up because this is LOVE, gosh darnit, regardless of if it’s two dudes, two chicks, or some combination in-between…but I had the luxury of incredibly supportive parents from Day One, and that’s not the world we live in (yet), so I should just shut up.
We had an awesomely jovial justice of the peace presiding over the ceremony; he reminded me a little of the goofy Hank Hooper from 30 Rock, mustache and all. He read off some spiel about a non-denominational God and the Huey Lewis and the News’s Power of Love, we signed some paperwork and then we were officially, legally hitched.
Gay marriage is difficult enough. I can’t imagine the headache and paperwork of a gay divorce. You’re stuck with me, Boo!
After the rather quick ceremony, we headed into Alexandria for a celebratory lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.
…Waitaminute. I’m noticing a trend here…