Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Tuesday, Nov. 28
The Indiana Daily Student


Same-sex couples wed in capital

One bride wore a knee-length lace dress and pearls. The other bride wore a yellow shirt and white suit. And when a pastor pronounced them “partners in life this day and for always” Tuesday they hugged and smiled as wedding guests and nearly a dozen TV cameras and reporters looked on.

Tuesday was the first day same-sex couples could marry in Washington, D.C. Brides Angelisa Young and Sinjoyla Townsend were the first of three couples taking the plunge in morning ceremonies at the offices of the Human Rights Campaign, which does advocacy work on gay, lesbian and transgender issues.

Fifteen licenses were picked up in the first hour the marriage bureau was open and two couples quickly got married and returned to pick up their certificates, courthouse spokeswoman Leah Gurowitz said. More couples were also coming Tuesday to apply for licenses.

About 150 couples were eligible to pick up marriage licenses Tuesday after applying on the first day the licenses were made available. Many of them stood in line for four or more hours last Wednesday. Townsend and Young were the first in line that day.

The District of Columbia is the sixth place in the country permitting same-sex unions. Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont also issue same-sex couples licenses. Once couples pick up their license, they must have the person performing their marriage sign it and then return it to the marriage bureau to be recorded.

Couples had a variety of plans for their ceremonies. One couple planned to marry at All Souls Church — the Unitarian Universalist house of worship where Mayor Adrian Fenty in December signed the bill legalizing the unions. District residents Eva Townsend and Shana McDavis-Conway said they were planning a wedding Tuesday by their plot in a community garden, where they have grown carrots and potatoes.

Other couples said they already had ceremonies and would simply wed at the courthouse, which has space for about 15 people in a ceremony room.

Normally, the courthouse plays host to four to six weddings a day, but over the next several weeks they are expecting 10 to 12 per day because of the demand for same-sex ceremonies. Some courtrooms and judge’s chambers might be used for the ceremonies with the couple’s OK. The court’s official marriage booklet has been updated so that the ceremony will end by pronouncing the couple “legally married” as opposed to “husband and wife.”

Get stories like this in your inbox