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A new age

This will take a longer piece of writing to do the subject justice, so tune in to Chunga 21 (probably) if you want the longer version. The short version is that yesterday I went to Heronswood Gardens over on the Kitsap Peninsula to celebrate the wedding of Jessica Amanda Salmonson and Rhonda Boothe. The law legalizing same sex marriage went into effect on Thursday, and part of the longer story is the story of how that law was passed by the state legislature and eventually confirmed by popular vote. The S'Klallam Tribe, which had recently purchased Heronswood, donated the space and the ceremony to any same sex couples who wanted to get married on Sunday. Five couples took them up on the offer.

I caught a ride with John D. Berry and Eileen Gunn. Also catching a ride with them was Wendy Wees, who was one of Jessica's old girlfriends and whom I hadn't seen in decades, as she noted when I got in the car. Also at the ceremony were Marilyn Holt and Cliff Wind and a friend of Jessica and Rhonda's from Bremerton whose name I didn't catch but with whom I chatted at dinner afterward. We ate at the buffet at the S'Klallam's casino, with archaic cigarette smoke in the air.

It's hard to describe the emotions of the day. It was sweet and weird and epic and intimate. I felt like an eye-witness to history. There was a reporter from the North Kitsap Herald interviewing everyone about the blessed event. There was a jazzy Christmas song playing in the distant background during the ceremony. The officiant was a complete stranger who only met Jessica and Rhonda fifteen minutes before marrying them. Their vows were taken from the wedding of Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki. My wedding present was the fossil of a snail that I dug up by a train trestle outside of Salem when I was a young boy. Conversations with old friends ranged across the world and throughout time. One should always take the ferry to a wedding. My heart is bursting. Film at 11.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 10th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the snapshot -- good to hear what you folks are up to there in Seattle, which I remember fondly.
Dec. 10th, 2012 06:35 pm (UTC)
Hey, nice to see you here! Your name came up in conversation with Cliff yesterday, because I asked him about his time living in Australia, and he mentioned that you were still living there when he first went over. Maybe you were at the first Swancon, which he said happened in somebody's apartment? I want to get that story into my longer article if I can, but I don't remember all the details so I'll have to pester Cliff about it again.
Dec. 11th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
Yes, I was at the first Swancon -- I seem to recall a family of baby ducklings waddling through at some stage. Held at writer Tony Peacey's house.
Dec. 11th, 2012 03:55 pm (UTC)
Ah, that was one of the names Cliff mentioned. Was there also a Grant Stone involved?
Dec. 10th, 2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
Very sweet, I like living that experience through you.
Dec. 10th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
Thanks! More to come, I hope.
Dec. 10th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Oh thank you so very much for this! What a wonderful story and ...well, I need to go find a kleenex!
Dec. 10th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC)
I remember this from the introduction of civil partnerships here; there'd been all that controversy, and people talking about how the fabric of society would fall apart, and then the first day allotted for weddings rolled around and there was just such a mass of happiness going on everywhere as lots of people who'd wanted to have this celebration for ages got to finally do so. Huzzah!
Dec. 10th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, civil unions were the first step here too, starting three years ago. Once it had been established that civil unions for same sex couples did not in fact cause the sky to fall or the earth to crash into the sun, a majority of people were apparently persuaded that we could just call it marriage now and have done with it.
Dec. 11th, 2012 12:19 am (UTC)
*Nearly* there in the UK too.
Dec. 10th, 2012 11:34 pm (UTC)
Mazel tov to Jessica and Rhonda, and thanks to you for recounting it.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 11th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
Yes, ron_drummond pointed me to these photos and captions on BuzzFeed that are very sweet indeed.
Dec. 11th, 2012 07:51 am (UTC)
This sounds like it was perfect for Jessica and Rhonda. Congratulations to the happy couple!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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