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"We haven’t been waiting for ‘a few hours!’" one woman shouts. "We’ve been waiting for years."
Behind the crowd, Terri Henry and Penny Kirby are crestfallen. The Springville couple rushed to Salt Lake County after the Utah County clerk’s office denied them a license.
"They gave us this instead," Terri says, holding out a letter in which Clerk Bryan Thompson explains that he knows the gay-marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional, but he will not issue licenses to same-sex couples until he receives further clarification from the state.
"Then we watched them give marriage licenses to two straight couples," Terri says, starting to cry. Penny holds her hand.
Promise to love » A woman who goes by Rev. Heron stands outside the clerk’s office, wearing a rainbow scarf and holding a sign advertising, "FREE OFFICIANT." Katie and Vanessa cuddle in front of her for the ceremony.
"I promise to love you
in frailty and in health,
in plenty and in poverty,
in life and beyond
where we will meet, remember, and love again."
None of the normal wedding stuff is there. The brides are wearing jeans and T-shirts. Their photographer is some guy holding a cellphone. Rev. Heron snags two strangers to sign as witnesses. Someone shoves a white flower into Vanessa’s hand.
"You are now bound together in sacred union," Rev. Heron announces.
Vanessa and Katie share a long kiss and hold each other tight. Katie finally confesses that the ring has been ordered.
Vanessa freezes and covers her mouth with her hands.
"I bought it yesterday so I could officially propose," Katie explains.
Vanessa’s eyes fill with tears. So much of their wedding day has been defined by the outside world: set into motion by a judge’s order, made frantic by state legal action, held up by some as a symbol of equality, decried by others as a sign of degeneracy, examined, fought over, picked apart. All day, Vanessa and Katie have held onto each other through a flurry of other people’s interests.
But the ring is just between Katie and Vanessa. It means nothing more or less than love.
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