May 17th, 2004

Sam and Frodo

gay marriage fiesta

None of this is news by now, but here's how it was for me. :)

We spent midnight to 5 am outside Cambridge City Hall waving and cheering for every last gay couple who came out the doors with a marriage license (266 couples). Cambridge was the only municipality in the state to start at midnight (rather than 8:30 or 9) so it got all the early festivities and notice. Apparently the Rev. "God hates fags" Phelps (or some of his followers) were there early on, but I didn't see them and they packed it in around 12:05. Thousands of celebrating people were there. While we were seated on the lawn waving flags and singing interminable choruses of "Chapel of Love" (and we're gonna get ma-a-arried!) one aging hippie with a white beard stopped to chat with rmd and me and said it felt like "a love-in without the acid". It was truly a wonderful concentration of positive energy--I was giddy most of the night, waving an American flag, blowing bubbles, and making truly dreadful jokes. One guy shouted in my ear, "I'm from Toronto, where we *have* gay marriage. But this! This is amazing!"

One of the very last couples were two older men who exited carrying a poster that said "49 years together" on the front, and on the back had a collage of pictures of them through the years. So sweet and wonderful. There were about 20 of us die-hards left cheering at that point, so we got to talk with them for a bit and see the collage up close. You can see them earlier in the evening, in video at http://www.boston.com/ ("History is made in Massachusetts")

It's real. Many of the couples are waiting the standard 3-day waiting period or more, but a few have already applied for and gotten waivers, and gotten married (the first by 9:15 am).