On February 12, 2005, over 4,000 couples were invited to the San Francisco City Hall to celebrate their marriages, performed there the previous year in defiance of state and federal laws. Although the courts declared them invalid, thousands of loving couples, some with their children on their shoulders, filled the Hall with shouts of joy and determination.
Couples filled every available space, up to the highest balcony, waiting patiently for Mayor Gavin Newsome to appear. When he finally arrived, the crowd erupted in a joyous cry of thanks to the man who made it happen. He gave a rousing, empassioned speech, and then invited Phyllis Lyons and Del Martin up on stage, again to thunderous applause. Afterwards, Newsome moved into the crowd, shaking hands, signing autographs, and posing for pictures.
We had many friends there, and we felt united with strangers and friends alike.
Gail and I are holding on to our marriage license, because it is real for us. It is just a matter of time until this country, this beloved country, once again takes a lurching, wrenching step into a new era of equality. I believe with all my heart that the day will come when the courts will declare that Gail and I have the same rights to marry each other that my brothers and sister have to marry the people they love. It is very simple, really. We are good people, we pay taxes, we go to church, we own property together, we care for each other, and we deserve the protections of marriage. We're waiting....