Happy Anniversary: Marking One Year Since the First Gay Couples Got Married in D.C.

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and Rev. Candy Holmes were the third gay couple to get married when Washington's marriage law took effect. In a video from the Human Rights Campaign, they're using the occasion to ask President Obama to get behind the freedom to marry.

Getting married has been an incredibly positive force in the lives of the two women, who are both ministers of the Metropolitan Community Churches. "The primary difference for me is how others see us," said Garner, 62. "Others now recognize and respect us as a couple that is completely and in every possible way committed to each other."

Freedom to Marry Founder and President made the following statement honoring the couples:

“A year ago today, Sinjoyla Townsend and Angelisa Young were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in our nation’s capital.  In the year since Angelisa and Sinjoyla made the public promise to love, cherish, and care for one another, we have made important progress toward ending the exclusion of committed gay and lesbian couples from marriage.  Thousands of couples have married in the District, providing a critical safety-net to their families along with the personal significance that only marriage brings.”

“It is the stories of these real life families that make it that much harder for fair-minded Members of Congress on Capitol Hill to continue defending federal marriage discrimination.   President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have declared that under the Constitution’s command of equality, the so-called 'Defense of Marriage Act' is indefensible.  The President has spoken frequently in recent months about his ‘evolving’ views on the freedom to marry, describing his friends and ‘staff members … in committed, monogamous relationships, who are raising children, who are wonderful parents.’   When loving couples are free to join in marriage, families are helped and no one is hurt.”

Thousands of other couples have taken advantage of the freedom to marry in the capital as well, many of them living outside the District. The number of licenses issued by the city in the past 12 months jumped to 6,600, up from 3,100 the year before. The city doesn't track whether the people getting the licenses are same-sex couples or not, but usually the total number issued changes very little.

So congratulations to all of the happy couples!