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March 03, 2010

The beautiful sight outside Room 4485

It was a bit of a circus this morning outside D.C. Superior Court at 500 Indiana Avenue, NW. There was a phalanx of television news cameras; a bunch of activists, including my favorite media expert Cathy Renna; some gay-affirming clergy; and a few members of the Phelps family from Topeka singing anti-gay hymns and holding up hateful signs. But we weren't letting the "God Hates Fags" stuff bother us. This was a victorious moment. I went upstairs to Room 4485, the Marriage Bureau, outside of which dozens of gay and lesbian couples were lined up stretching down the hall, and I handed out some commemorative pens that GLAA had ordered (saying "D.C. Marriage Equality - March 3, 2010") until I ran out. It was great seeing friends in the line. To see so many decades of activism by countless people crowned by this glorious moment is too joyous and satisfying for words.

I had agreed earlier in the morning to run over to the News Channel 8 studio for a 10 a.m. interview, so I hopped a cab from the courthouse to 1100 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn and back, but I enjoyed giving one of the commemorative pens to morning anchor Dave Lucas. When I got back to the courthouse, Craig Howell had shown up with a bunch of young folks who were there to counter-protest the Phelps clan, but the latter had left. Craig and I went up and checked out the line outside the marriage bureau, and I saw some who had been there an hour and a half earlier. So they are being patient! I spoke to one friend in line who’s been with his partner for 22 years, and they have a 6-year-old son. These are the real people and families for whom we do our work. God bless us all for reaching this day.

I witnessed one charming moment outside the courthouse that was not recorded by any video cameras: A group of police officers were leaving the courthouse around 11:00, and one of them playfully slipped his arm into that of another to pretend that they had just filed their marriage license application. They had big grins on their faces and I thought, oh how far we've come.

Metro Weekly reports. Sean Bugg celebrates. DC Agenda reports here and here. City Paper has photos here. Loose Lips has more coverage and links here. DCist here. WaPo blogs here and here, video here, articles here and here. Jonathan Capehart notes the implications here. More from City Paper here.

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