This is my last wedding post, I promise. The deed is done, life is long.
Produced by Andrew Satter
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April 6, 2013
The Honorable Patricia Broderick
Superior Court, The District of Columbia
We are here today to celebrate a loving relationship and a legal milestone. In 2010 the District of Columbia became the first jurisdiction below the Mason-Dixon line to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
David and Craig also want to celebrate the expansion of rights this moment represents. And to celebrate our nation’s founders — and yes, they include Abigail Adams, who inspired her husband, John, and whose words you will hear shortly.
The Constitution has personal meaning for David and Craig. They first met more than 25 years ago in Philadelphia during the week of its 200th Anniversary.
While the authors and supporters of the Constitution might not have had gay marriage on their minds they meant to create a flexible system of government that allowed future rights they had not imagined. They specifically said so in the Ninth Amendment, which Craig and David have asked me to read to begin this ceremony:
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
— Judge Patricia Broderick
• John Adams: “Regard the honor and moral character of the man more than all other circumstances. Think of no other greatness but that of the soul, no other riches but those of the heart.” (Read by Paul Lester)
• Abigail Adams: “I have sometimes been ready to think that the passion for Liberty cannot be strong in those who have been accustomed to deprive their fellow creatures of theirs.” (Read by Claudine Hellmuth)
• John: “An honest, sensible, humane man, above all the littleness of vanity and extravagances of imagination, laboring to do good rather than be rich, to be useful rather than make a show, living in modest simplicity clearly within his means and free from debts and obligations, is really the most respectable man in society, makes himself and all about him most happy.” (Read by Michael Yakavonis)
• Abigail to John: “I look back to the early days of our acquaintance and friendship, as to the days of love and innocence; and with an indescribable pleasure I have seen scores of years roll over our heads with an affection heightened and improved by time.” (Read by Denise Rathman)
Carolyn Adams (Craig’s cousin)
Dale Blank (David’s sister)
Others in Wedding Party
These two today
celebrate a life time of being together.
And still now,
when Craig is talking
about the world and the politics of Life,
looking tenderly in the direction
And David is smiling
a shine like dawn itself,
you know that you are in the presence of
Let us now celebrate this Love
And the gift of Craig and David in our lives.
–Ruthanne “Rufus” Collinson
Poet Laureate of Gloucester, Massachusetts