May 18, 2004

marriage across Massachusetts

Cambridge, Boston, Provincetown, Northampton, and a few other places got top billing, and rightfully so. But there are 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, and unhyped celebrations were happening everywhere. A good place to revel in this diversity is to go to the Mass newspaper link page at Common Dreams.

Here's a sampling:

From my hometown, Haverhill, and neighboring towns in the Merrimack Valley:
Marcia O'Brien and Terri Desaulniers were the first of three couples through the door at Haverhill City Hall. They said 26 years was a long enough wait to be married.

"We can't tell you how happy we are," said DeSaulniers, who met O'Brien 26 years ago at a softball game in Brockton. "It brings tears to our eyes. This is the happiest day of our lives."

In Methuen, four couples waited for their chance, including Mary E. Washburn, 46, and Alice A. Galloway, 47, who first met at summer camp at age 10.
The Worcester Telegram has some good stories and a slide show.

Here's a great bit from the Fitchburg Sentinel:
The Rev. Edward Greene of Maine, a gay Episcopalian priest, said outside Fitchburg City Hall he's not ready to rush into marriage with his partner, George Van Hazinga of Leominster.

Greene got into a brief argument with a man across Main Street who yelled slurs at about a dozen gay marriage supporters and told the supporters to read the Bible.

"I'm a priest, so put that in your Bible and smoke it," Greene hollered back at the man, who later declined to identify himself. "God bless you."
Here's a nice story from my favorite part of the state, the North Shore.

And how about this twist from the Greenfield Recorder:
No gay couples applied for a marriage license in Leyden Monday, but the town clerk wanted one and had to go to Greenfield to get his because he couldn't issue one to himself.
I'll end with this photo and caption from the Salem News:

[photo temporarily disabled]
Robert Murch, left, embraces his father, Michael Sapol, while his mother, Carol, hugs his partner, Gary Halteman, before their wedding ceremony outside Salem City Hall yesterday morning. (Kira Horvath/Staff photo)

Update: some of the links don't work anymore as the days have shifted. I changed them where possible but in some cases you'll have to navigate to Tuesday's editions.