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Riverside, July 3

When the state of California recently allowed same-sex couples to marry, I was happy for the Californians but never really thought about how it would or could apply to myself and my partner. Never, that is, until Christopher (in a rare bit of spontaneousness) suggested we take a little road trip to marry over there. I was touched that he asked. We’ve been together for nearly 14 years, so why not?

Since it’s the nearest county seat to Phoenix, we picked the inland city of Riverside. I made a reservation at the lovely downtown Marriott hotel and we visited the nearby county admin offices as soon as we got there on Wednesday afternoon. Once arrived to get our registration, however, we found out that this building wasn’t the main office where the ceremonies are performed. It was a satellite office and the real office was located a few miles away. Luckily we had an extra day to drive over there and get the deed done. That night, we walked around Riverside and marveled at the neat old buildings and homes everywhere. Beautiful city; pity about the excessive smog constantly settled in the valley.

On Thursday, we got up early and set out to find the main Riverside County offices. After navigating the busy California freeways, we arrived two hours early for our scheduled two p.m. ceremony appointment. Since most of the employees were out to lunch at the time, we were told to come back in an hour. This office was located in what was apparently the strip mall and chain store capitol of Inland California, so we spent the extra time shopping (I picked up a copy of the Wii game Endless Ocean as a wedding gift to myself). We then arrived back at the office and turned in our registration papers. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about how these county employees would feel about two men wanting to marry, but actually everyone was great and very helpful. Although we were assured that they’d have a witness on hand for us, we were told that we’d have to get someone else waiting in the office that day to agree to witness. Now this was something I was a bit scared about, but the first person we approached was a pleasant local woman who happened to be marrying her boyfriend of thirteen-odd years at that same time. She was very sweet and patient to wait around for us after her own private ceremony was over. Eventually we got in there (the office wasn’t very crowded at all) and got our ceremony performed by another nice and helpful county employee. While our witness snapped away with my digital camera, we exchanged vows in a quaint little room with artificial flowers and a window looking out on a pretty stone fountain. It was beautiful. Christopher even started tearing up a bit during the vows.

Even though our marriage isn’t recognized here in Arizona, I have some hope that eventually things will come around for us and all LGBT couples. It’s an expression of love and commitment to ourselves and our community. What’s so dangerous about that?

Civil Ceremony, Riverside

18 Thoughts on “Riverside, July 3

  1. sarah on July 4, 2008 at 9:27 pm said:

    omg you guys!! congrats!! And here’s to it being recognized in all 50 states someday, sooner than later I hope!

  2. Congratulations! Thanks for the report—and for being trailblazers.

  3. It’ll be recognized in Jaw-ja as long as I’m still living here, state guvmint be damned. Mazeltov to you both!

  4. Congratulations! And not only should it be recognized in the 50 States, but in overseas countries as well… (We’re working on it.)

  5. Congratulations to you both! At least your anniversary will be easy to remember.

  6. CONGRATULATIONS! Here’s to many many more happy years.

  7. Congratulations kids! I’m so happy for you guys. Looks like your fireworks came a day early. You should have come down a little farther south, as I would have been happy to be a witness and take pics & video. Yvette might have even baked a cake ;)

  8. chrisboy on July 5, 2008 at 9:28 pm said:

    wow! many congratulations to you guys! this really made my day.

  9. Now that’s some wonderful news! Best to both of you fellas!

  10. Cristiane on July 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm said:

    Aw – congrats, you cuties, you.

  11. Libby on July 6, 2008 at 10:55 pm said:

    Congratulation to you both, I am happy for you! I hope your marriage is wonderful and recognized everywhere one day.

  12. Erin on July 6, 2008 at 11:59 pm said:

    Congratulations and best wishes! I am proud to live in California and hope that this marriage will soon be legal in your state as well.

  13. CONGRATULATIONS! Wow… I step away from the blog for a few days and look what happens! That is wonderful Matt and I wish you and Christopher many more years of WEDDED happiness together. :-)

  14. joy olivia on July 8, 2008 at 8:35 am said:

    Oh wow! Congratulations fellas! Wishing you only the very best!

  15. That’s so awesome! Congratulations!

  16. Aw that’s fantastic. Congratulations!

  17. wow! this is fantastic! congrats you guys!

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