Monday, September 16, 2013

Part 2 from Joe

How It Started

My wife is in Janet's book club.  Their meetings are grouped in sessions, and each session ends with a potluck supper.  I show up for the potluck because Janet usually makes something delicious involving meat.

During the potluck right after the state of California first legalized same-sex marriage, Janet bemoaned the shortage of marriage commissioners to handle the tidal wave of couples newly free to marry, and asked if anyone in the club wanted to join her at the Hall of Records.

I did some acting in college, so I have no problem standing in front of people and talking.  My wife and I had been married almost 8 years at that point, and things were (and still are) working out well, so I was (and still am) a big fan of marriage.  I had (and still have) gay friends, and the thought of them being denied a basic right was ridiculous.  Those seemed like good enough reasons to volunteer.

Anyone who's read this blog probably knows what happened next.  All the new folks and the pros gathered, oaths were sworn, vows were hastily copied and distributed.  The terror of ruining someone's perfect day gradually gave way to the contagious joy radiating from enfranchised people.  I got better at gathering groups onto elevators.  I massaged here and poked there and finally constructed the ceremony that said what I wanted to say about marriage: its obligations and its rewards.  I set to joining folks in matrimony.

Once the initial surge calmed down, a lot of the volunteers drifted away.  I liked the routine and the people, both staff and couples, and my boss was kind enough to bend my work schedule to keep Friday mornings free, so I stayed.  That was more than 5 years ago.

Joe, ready for the next couple.

Next post, Why Joe Marries Couples

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