Local Couples Celebrate Their (Now Legal) Same-sex Marriages

The cake topper at the wedding of Valerie Curtis-Newton and her wife Kim Powell. They were married legally in Conneticut in 2009.

There’s an electric feel of happiness in the air today as same-sex marriage becomes officially legal in Washington state and couples of all ages, colors and creeds line up to be among the first who receive marriage licenses.

Prior to the approval of Referendum 74, Seattle magazine profiled seven local same-sex couples. Several of them were already married in other states; and they had passionate things to say about why—not just marriage—but a legal marriage that is recognized here at home matters. (Read those profiles here.)

After the Referendum was upheld in November, a few of those story subjects followed up with us to express their joy, thanks and excitement for the future.

To keep the fire burning on this warm, fuzzy feeling today as long as possible, we share a few of their thoughts and memories with you (some edited for length).

Almost as soon as R-74 came out as passing (no pun intended), my in-laws (who are all local) asked when/if we were going to get married again. We had to explain that since we had been married in Canada (a legal wedding that they all attended), our marriage would be recognized here in Washington on Dec. 6th. That said, we agree that we should celebrate, so we've decided to host a party on the 8th...and this time, our son will be with us to celebrate! -David and Donald
P.S. The photo below is from that wedding in 2004, Donald and I with our Best Men.

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Just wanted to say thanks again for doing the same sex marriage article!  We are SO happy that R74 passed this week and we very much appreciate your support and giving our stories voice. Thousands of people pulled together to do the right thing and it took the work of all of us to get it done.  –Ruth Frobe

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Naturally our first reaction to the passage of Referendum 74 was joy and relief. Then Mark [Mitchell] mentioned his "irrational fear" of renting chairs; suddenly our own wedding - and all the potential hassles we've witnessed from the sidelines as vendors - had became much more concrete.  A few nights later at dinner, he said "I'm thinking Salvador Dali is the spirit animal for our wedding." Voila! Our Big Fat Gay Surrealist Wedding! One attendant dressed as a lobster, another with her skin and hair dyed to match her gown (we're thinking aquamarine), the officiant wearing a birdcage on her head... now we're talking. And with a peg like that, maybe we can find a sponsor to cover the cost of chair rental.  Mark has some big projects pending for 2013, so we're thinking we'll tie the knot in Spring 2014. –Kurt Reighley

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[Above] is a pic of Kim and I at our 2009 wedding in Connecticut. We got married by a pond in the middle of a cornfield on some property my parents own. It was a very small ceremony, just 10 people, informal and sweet. I've also attached a pic of the top of our wedding cake [shown above]. Kim's college roommate, Elaine, cooked our wedding supper and went the extra mile to be sure that we had a cake with two black brides on it. It meant so much to us to go through the process and have our relationship validated at every stage - from the folks at Greenlake Jewelers to the county clerks in my little Connecticut hometown to the family and friends who stepped up to be with us. The vote this week also reminded us how good it feels to have the support of one's community. Kim and I celebrated by going to the scene of our first date. This time as a married couple recognized by the state in which we live. There's no other word for the feeling: giddy. We know this is a temporary high. There is more to be done. ENDA's not yet passed and DOMA still stands; but this moment must be celebrated. It is moments like this that will sustain our community when the next challenge comes our way. -Val (& Kim)

If you haven’t yet, check out the slog’s report on the first Seattle couples to receive marriage licenses in the wee hours of this morning. Just try not to cry at the sight of the joy on these people’s faces. 

OK, Gay Marriage is Legal. Where to celebrate?

On December 9, Seattle City Hall transforms into Seattle’s biggest same-sex wedding chapel, hosting approximately 140 couples for the first sanctioned same-sex marriage ceremonies to be conducted in the city. We’ll have photos from that event next week. If you didn’t get a reservation for that event in time, there are still other ways you can celebrate with your fellow citizens:

The Center for Spiritual Living, a trans-denominational church, is holding a mass-wedding ceremony on Saturday, December 15. Due to space limitations, they can only accommodate the first 100 couples to register and their guests.

On December 9, Seattle Men’s Chorus will host a chorus member’s wedding during the intermission of that evening’s performance at Benaroya Hall.

Also on December 9, Seattle Theater Group hosts Love Wins at the Paramount, a free public wedding reception featuring an acoustic performance by Mary Lambert (you may remember her lovely voice from Macklemore’s "Same Love") and other entertainment. Sarah Rudinoff is master of ceremonies.

And, last but not least, Q Nightclub, Dan Savage & Terry Miller are hosting a Big Gay Wedding Reception on December 9. The party features Riz Rollins and a fundrasier for freedomtomarry.org.

From the entire team at Seattle Magazine: Congratulations to all the newlyweds – and the newly engaged couples in Washington State!

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