Allow me to set the scene…
Midnight. Wednesday 1st May, 2013. Downtown Denver Municipal Office and the state of Colorado has just passed a bill. But this was no ordinary bill, this was Colorado’s first same-sex Civil Union bill. Queue media and crowds on mass.
The City of Denver was proud to have this bill come into affect for its’ same-sex residents who could finally have the same legal rights as all of their heterosexual citizens. The passing of this bill allowed same-sex couples legal protection and responsibilities by the state, that would also protect couples who were wanting to start a rainbow family. F yeah!
One of the first couples to sign this landmark document was Courtney and Sonja, whose ceremony begun just minutes after the historical bill had passed. Denver Mayor, Michael B. Handcock, officiated the ceremony in front of hundreds of people, including other awaiting same-sex couples and the media.
Let’s back up a smidgin and tell you a little about the girls: Courtney and Sonja had been together for 7 years prior to this day and had also previously had a private commitment ceremony. The girls said that they could not be more excited to have their union legally recognised and accepted by their state. The photos, by the talented Willinghams, certainly depict the love, happiness and laughter that transpired on that significant day – both in the global LGBTIQ community as well as in Courtney and Sonja’s lives.
Courtney had said in an interview, about the super momentous occasion, “It was more overwhelming than I expected. The moment kind of hit me. To be here with hundreds of people cheering us on anonymously, to have the mayor officiating, it all was really incredible.”
And Sonja said: “We’ve been committed for years, but to have the actual law behind it, it’s just such a great privilege today.”
Both Courtney and Sonja wore simple yet elegant outfits. They each carried a posy of bright flowers and equally bright smiles.
Their ceremony was warm, their vows were beautiful and their union was…legal. Damn it, I have something in my eye.