February 2, 2009

“March 26, 1975, the first same-sex marriage licenses in the United States were heroically issued in Boulder by County Clerk, Clela Rorex.”

Marriage ain’t about being gay, or straight, or even love for that matter. It’s a matter fundamental to being an active citizen of a caring democracy: it’s about equity, about basic Civil Rights.

As John Donne put it, far more eloquently:

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

Or, as MLK Jr. put it:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In other words, we endanger our own rights when we seek to limit, or pardon the limiting of another’s rights.

A moving article in Boulder, Colorado’s Daily Camera, by Gregory Hinton. Excerpt:

Gays, Lesbians, Transexuals, Bisexuals, Queers (GLTBQs) who long for stability, family, and social inclusion are..

I have been out since Spring Break, Boulder, 1974. I informed my parents, right away.

A young theology student, goaded by his spiritual advisor, called my parents and threatened to drive me from Boulder with “whips and chains.” Pretty heavy, huh? I kept thinking, but this is Boulder! Who talks like this? Help came from my extraordinary family. We circled the wagons but did not engage in a circular firing squad.

One year later, on March 26, 1975, the first same-sex marriage licenses in the United States were heroically issued in Boulder by County Clerk, Clela Rorex. Six weddings occurred. All were overturned later that same year. Coincidentally, I met one of the couples twenty-five years later in Hollywood.

What are the odds?

I find myself wondering, if same-sex marriage had been available to the aforementioned gay husbands, would they have picked a same-sex soul mate and tied the knot?

Would they have cheated on their same-sex spouses and made them cry?

Would the wives have made heterosexual marriages and been happier?

After my first gay relationship exploded from outside evangelical pressures…

To read the beginning and end of the above, go to The Daily Camera.

Did you know elephantjournal.com’s hometown of Boulder, Colorado was the first in the US to issue a same-sex marriage license? I didn’t, until reading the above. And, frankly, I found it hard to believe…until my buddy Regina Cowles emailed me this link. Excerpt:


County Clerk Issues Gays Marriage License

Two Colorado Springs men were issued a marriage license Wednesday afternoon at the Boulder County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. The case is apparently the first in Colorado in which a marriage license has been granted to homosexuals. Dave McCord and Dave Zamora, both 27, were issued the license in Boulder County after they had been refused in El Paso County.

Boulder County Clerk Clela Rorex’ decision to grant the license was based on a March 26 memorandum from the Boulder District Attorney’s Office which said That the issuance of a license to persons of the same sex was not specifically prohibited under Colorado law.

Assistant District Attorney William C. Wise, who wrote the memorandum, said the issuance of such license was up to the Judgment of local county clerks, since the matter is not defined in the statutes.

“There is no statutory law prohibiting the issuance of a license, probably because the situation was simply not contemplated in the past by our legislature. The case law is strongly on the side of the public official that refuses to issue a marriage license in these situations, and a public official could not be prosecuted for violation of any criminal law by such marriage licensing,” Wise wrote.

The section defining circumstances which invalidate a marriage mentions blood relations and bigamy but does not mention the sex of the parties involved, Wise said.

Wise said Wednesday’s licensing was the first case he had heard of.

Boulder Gay Marriage vs. the INS; Dave McCord is Born Again

Deb Price Column about Clela Rorex and Boulder Gay Marriages

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