Sunday, May 18, 2014

PTown Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Marriage Equality in the United States

A Provincetown pedicab carries two just-married husbands
down Commercial Street as the couple is cheered by passersby.
On May 17th, 2004, Massachusetts became the first municipality in the United States, and 6th in the world, to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
That day, hundreds of people lined our sidewalks all day long, cheering each couple who walked out of Provincetown Town Hall with their license in hand, and there were even weddings taking place right there on the Town Hall lawn as tears of joy were shed not only by the couples, but by strangers who witnessed the events of that day.
75 volunteers had been enlisted and trained, and by day's end they would help in the process of issuing marriage licenses to 154 couples, with nearly one third of them traveling here from other states. During that year a total of 873 marriage licenses were granted in Provincetown, with 848 of them issued to same-sex couples. To date, well over 4,000 gay and lesbian couples have tied the knot in PTown.
Since Massachusetts opened the door for marriage equality in America on that day 10 years ago, 17 states, along with 16 foreign governments, now recognize same-sex marriages, with many more decisions in process across the United States and around the world. Arkansas became the most recent US victory this past week.
In the summertime photo above, two grooms are being pedaled down Commercial Street in a pedicab festooned with paper hearts and wedding bells, and the noise from strings of tin cans tied to the bumper and clanking down the road behind them is now a familiar sound that brings cheers from strangers as freshly married couples are applauded by folks they pass on their way down the street.
I'll say it again… Ya gotta love a town like this!

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