It hardly seems possible, but five years ago, Jason West – the Mayor of the hip and funky college town of New Paltz, NY – became all the buzz across the United States when he had announced that he would legalizing marriage for gay couples starting on February 27, 2004. This was just days after Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco, had decided to do the same.
One of the first couples married were our good friends, Jay Blotcher and Brook Garrett.
In today’s Poughkeepsie Journal, the paper took a look back at two of the couples that had been wedded on that day; Jay & Brook, as well as Denise Weber and Allyson Sandak of Bell-Mead, New Jersey. Following the ceremonies, images of the couple’s ceremonial kisses appeared on CNN and in about 95 publications nationwide. However, once the marriages were deemed “illegal”, they were soon annulled.
More recently, Jay and Brook got married in California last June and are now waiting for the official status of their most recent marriage in light of Proposition 8, an amendment to the California state constitution to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples. In case you are curious, they documented their California ceremony on video, and even posted it to YouTube for all to enjoy!
Both told the Poughkeepsie Journal that their lives haven’t changed much in the last five years, but they have watched the progress of same-sex equality inch forward.
“Their acceptance of gay people is far more open. Their biggest fears are things like the economy, the war, not same-sex equality,” Blotcher said. “People need to respect us because we deserve it. You don’t have to like us, but you do have to give us our equal rights.”
What do you think about the possibility of Gay Marriage becoming legal here in New York State and would you get married if/when it happens? We’d love to hear your thoughts.