176 // What Was Denied Us

After work, my fiance and I went directly to our local County Clerk and Recorder’s Office to apply for our marriage license. This is the part of the wedding planning I’ve looked forward to the most. In my eyes, no part was more momentous in my eyes simply because this is the part that I never thought I would be doing.

Though same-sex marriage was illegal for most of our relationship, that fact would not have stopped us from planning a wedding if we’d wanted to. It is this process, this paperwork and these simple legal matters that was denied us.

I’ve always gotten the impression that straight couples find filling out an application for a marriage license and speaking to an impartial county clerk through a window about social security numbers and mother’s maiden names to be an unremarkable errand and not worth speaking about, but I sat there stifling a whirlwind of emotions.

I felt so proud and so happy to be alive and in love just where and when and with whom I am but I also felt the weight of all those who came before me and fought for and were denied this simple dignity and privilege. When we left, and the clerk congratulated us, as I’m sure she does every other couple, I nearly broke down in tears.