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 ("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).