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ATTENTION PERSONS MARRIED UNDER DC LAW – YOUR MARRIAGE MAY BE NULLIFIED!

December 14, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Headline, Thought of the Gay

As you may recall, Mark Reed-Walkup and Dante Walkup were married this past October. Their marriage was officiated via Skype by a person authorized to perform marriages by the District of Columbia, who was physically in DC at the time of the service. Mark and Dante decided to conduct their vows in their home state so that family and friends could be in attendance without the significant costs and problems of flying everyone to DC.

However, after the Skype wedding made headlines DC officials intervened and nullified the wedding on the grounds that Mark and Dante were not in the District at the time the ceremony was performed.

More recently, and in what can only be an effort to prevent future public relations disasters, a DC Clerk’s office posted this sign:

DC Clerk Posting - Marriages must physically be in DC

However, such provision is not presently included in the District of Columbia’s Official Code governing marital relationships (See: Division VII, Title 46, Subtitle I, Ch. 4). Instead, DC has taken upon itself to enforce a provision of law which does not exist. This means, if you or someone you know obtained a marriage license from the District of Columbia, but conducted the ceremony even inches outside the confines of the District’s border (perhaps for a better view of the ocean), your marriage may be nullified, too.

For example, let’s say you’ve lived and worked all your life in DC as has your future spouse. You and your spouse decide to get married, head off to the clerk’s office, get your license, abide by the 3 day waiting period, plan your ceremony, go to Little Falls Park (5.6 miles from the center of DC) and get married. YOU WERE NOT IN D.C.

Or let’s say you take a look at popular wedding places in the D.C. area and choose one of the top ten venues, Brookside Gardens. You are not in D.C., and therefore your marriage is not valid!

DC retroactively nullified the marriage of Mark and Dante due to this “requirement.” How many more marriages will they nullify? Will yours be next?

Texas Sees First *Legal* Same-Sex Wedding

October 11, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

Marriage Celebration ProgramThe wedding between Mark Reed-Walkup, a provisional Board Member of the LGBT equality organization, GetEQUAL, and the “love of his life,” Dante Walkup, wasn’t the first wedding ceremony performed in Texas, but it was the first same-sex wedding performed on Texas’ soil which will have legal recognition.

The couple applied and received a “Certificate of Marriage” in Washington, D.C. back in May.  On October 10, 2010, Mark and Dante declared their love publicly to their friends and family in a small ceremony in Dallas, Texas.

As I took my seat in the ballroom, I began reading the wedding program.  “The Marriage Celebration of Thomas Mark Reed and Dante Karl Walkup” declared the program in a traditional fashion.  My heart swelled with joy for the very happy (and nervous) couple.  As I continued thumbing through the program, I quickly saw a difference between this wedding and those of heterosexual couples I have attended:

We Remember: Asher Brown, Billy Lucas, Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh, Raymond Chase & the many other young LGBT lives who died due to suicide.  It does get better.

While weddings generally bring tears to my eyes, the tears are usually due to happiness for those celebrating their love.  In this instance, the tears were for the children we have lost before they had a chance to truly live.  Somehow, in spite of all the efforts of so many to make the world better for them, they lost hope.  I immediately thought of the words of Harvey Milk, “You’ve got to give them hope.”

As the wedding procession began, my tears continued to flow swelling with pride, joy, hope and even sorrow.  These amazing men were standing before me, declaring their love, declaring their devotion and declaring to all watching that “It does get better.”  This was no ordinary Texas wedding.

In order for Dante and Mark’s wedding to be legal in Washington, D.C., the ceremony had to be performed by an official authorized by the District to conduct weddings.

To overcome the jurisdictional issues, Mark and Dante arranged for the officiant to appear via Skype along with several witnesses in D.C., while the couple stood within the boundaries of their home state before their friends and family.

Mark and Dante have shown us that love endures and regardless of how hard people try to stop us, our love will carry us through.  It seems, after all, love does conquer hate.

On a more personal note to the newly weds:  Thank you for being a part of my life.  You have inspired me, pushed me and even carried me in more ways than you can possibly realize.  You have given me hope.