Three couples got married today in Washington DC at the Human Rights Campaign Equality Center. One was Angelisa Young and Sinjoyla Townsend:
One night Townsend called Young, having recently realized what Young already knew. In the middle of a conversation about schoolwork, she said tenderly, “Every sunflower needs rain to grow. Would you be my rain?”
Young, who had long since given up on Townsend understanding the significance of her appearances at the gym, was confused. She thought, “This has nothing to do with the case” they had been discussing.
That was 12 years ago. They have tattoos on their wrists now: Townsend’s says “Sunflower” and Young’s says “Rain.”
On Tuesday they will have wedding bands as well. Townsend and Young, the first gay couple to apply for a marriage license after the District of Columbia legalized same-sex unions, also will be among the first to be married.
And then there was the Revs. Darlene Garner and Candy Holmes:
Garner and Holmes have been in an on-again-off-again relationship for more than 14 years. When asked why they took so long to realize they were right for each other, Garner and Holmes joked that their relationship is kind of like the movie, It’ Complicated. Along with two other African-American couples at the Human Rights Campaign’ Equality Center, the mothers of four and grandmothers of seven will finally jump the broom, a full 13 years after Garner first proposed to Holmes.
Holmes and Garner, both clergy in the LGBT-friendly Metropolitan Community Church, have been a family for a long time. But today, Garner says, represents “a public and legal recognition that our love can survive anything. We will spend the rest of our lives together in joy, no matter what might come.”
And then there was Rocky Galloway and Reggie Stanley, fathers of twin girls:
“There’ this whole controversy about African Americans; there are no gay African-American couples or what have you,” says Reggie Stanley, who will be marrying his partner, Rocky Galloway, at the ceremony tomorrow. Stanley said he and Galloway wanted to participate in the public ceremony because “we felt an obligation to make it clear that yes, we exist; we’re like anybody else; we’re healthy; we’re strong; we’re a family.”
Yes, they are. Congratulations to all the couples.
If you missed the live stream of the weddings, the Human Rights Campaign will have video up shortly, they say.
Adam Serwer’s piece in The Root (second link above) focuses on the fact that all three are African-American couples. The Religious Right, which is mostly made up of uptight white people, likes to use race as a wedge issue, which is insulting to the many people of color who also happen to be LGBT, as it reinforces the stereotypes Reggie Stanley mentioned, that being gay is a “white thing.” Just yesterday Jeremy Hooper highlighted a typically disgusting missive from the Concerned Women for America which explicitly played the race card:
“This is an issue that reaches across the usual divisions by party or race or income class. In California, 70 percent of African-American voters ‚Äî of whom virtually all voted for Barack Obama for president ‚Äî voted for Proposition 8 to protect marriage. Marriage and family are foundational underpinnings of our society, and voters in 31 different states have treated them that way. It is not for legislatures or courts to decide whether or not these fundamental institutions will be redefined. The people of D.C. have yet to speak, and we will ensure they get that opportunity.”
Right. Like CWA’s mission in life is to protect black voters. Here’s what Jeremy had to say about it:
In our years of covering them, we have never seen one — NOT ONE! — African-American on CWA’s staff. Yet they want to tell the D.C. Black population how they should feel, suggesting that supposedly homo-hostile sentiment can monolithically transport itself from coast to coast? They who oppose Barack Obama with every fiber in their socially conservative beings want to go even further and exploit African-American support for the Democratic president? As we said: Gross!
Of course they don’t have black people on staff, Jeremy! Most Christian Right organizations are direct descendants of the days of white supremacism. You see it throughout their movement, actually, when they pen pieces which suggest that, essentially, if African-American voters knew what was good for them, they would vote Republican.
As I always say, well, they don’t vote Republican very much, and maybe (just maybe!!!) they don’t vote Republican for a damn good reason.
Anyway, in this case, polls show that, in the majority African-American Washington DC, marriage equality has majority support, so once they wrap their heads around that, CWA will probably stop race-baiting on the issue.
They only mention black people when it serves their purposes, after all.
(h/t Joe Sudbay)