Nine years ago today, Mikki and I got married at Adat Shalom synagogue in Bethesda, Maryland in front of our friends, family, and God. At the time, our marriage wasn’t recognized by the government. We were married nonetheless because the state does not constitute but rather merely recognizes marriages constituted by the vows a couple makes to each other.
We were legally married two years later in a civil ceremony in San Francisco. We booked the ceremony as soon as same-sex marriage was legalized — and our marriage was never voided, even though California later did away with marriage equality.
We didn’t know anyone in California, so we were worried about finding a witness. When I mentioned that to my boss, he contacted his nephew Rick, who took the day off to serve as our witness — and then spearheaded our night of celebration that began at The Cinch. The details of that night are best filed under “don’t ask, don’t tell”!
The service was tape recorded by a reporter from NPR, who was doing a story on the possibility of prisoners getting married. Our corsages were provided by a wonderful couple who didn’t need them anymore after their own ceremony concluded.
Our wedding plans were covered in the Baltimore Sun and elsewhere:
Same-sex couples in Md. plan to travel across U.S. to tie the knot, despite legal fog at home
June 20, 2008|By Rona Marech, Sun Reporter
It won’t be the first wedding for the Silver Spring couple, who met online five years ago. In 2006, they were married in a synagogue before 40 friends and family members. Snyder’s mother – who was once “heartbroken” about her daughter’s sexual orientation but came to accept it over time – traveled from Florida and said a blessing in the wedding ceremony. Afterward, their guests dined on wasabi-crusted tuna and lamb chops in a port wine reduction at a reception at a local restaurant.
Snyder, 43, a government and politics professor at George Mason University in Northern Virginia, and Hall, a 47-year-old software developer, consider themselves fully married. But they still would like that piece of paper.
Moreover, if the opportunity arises, they are willing to play a role in the legal struggle for marriage rights in Maryland, Snyder said.
The couple doesn’t know anyone in San Francisco, so Snyder’s boss’ nephew, who lives there, is going to serve as the witness at their City Hall ceremony. Then they’ll go out for drinks and food and will go sightseeing for a couple of days, hitting Alcatraz and a few other spots before returning. Later that month, they will throw a huge celebratory party at their home. They plan to serve the same almond cake with butter cream icing they had in 2006.
If they have to get married again down the line, they will, Snyder said.
“I do find that particularly heterosexuals understand marriage as a concept, so they treat our relationship more seriously when they know that we’re married, and I expect the marriage license will increase that,” she said. “We look forward to having our marriage recognized in every state and by the federal government but that’s going to take a while.”
In light of this publicity and a whole lot of activism around the marriage equality issue — including the fact that I wrote a book on the topic — I had to laugh during the 2014 campaign when a gay detractor reportedly accused me of being closeted!
Anyway, I am overjoyed to be married to my soul mate because I consider marriage the highest form of monogamy, which is something we both value highly.
And thanks to the Supreme Court, our marriage is now recognized across the country.