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The City of Seattle pulled out all the stops to make the LGBT community's special day special. Sunday was the first day the marriage lisences issued on Thursday could deliver a real-life marriage to same-sex couples.

They set up a live blog, and a live couples camera so everyone could watch. They even hired a photographer to document the day. So, I composed a short, photo heavy diary after the fold.

They actually built a special podium at City Hall.
And decorated the place real nice.
And someone, probably big marriage equality supporter Cupcake Royale, donated lots of cupcakes.

So here's some tips:

You can dress like a girl.
Or you can dress like a boy.
Or you can split the difference, and you still look hot.
Wearing your service dress uniform is of course, a great choice too.
Choose your wedding party's outfits thoughtfully and then they can wear them again.
You can dress down, this is the Pacific Northwest, everything's chill.
Dressing up's a good choice, but still, stay chill dudes.
It was a long wait to get married, but it was worth it.
It's fun for the whole family.
Yes, you can kiss the bride.
Or the groom.

Now. Go have a beautiful life together. And be good to each other!

A few words on what these pictures mean to me

I honestly believe these pictures that come out of these days are virtually devastating to the relentless anti-gay propaganda that groups like American Family Association, Family Research Council and National Organization for Marriage pump out.

These people just don't look like scary or dangerous people.

They look fun. Or surprisingly ordinary.

But there is something deeper that strikes me when I see both in Washington and in New York last year when the state opened offices on a Sunday just to mark this special occasion.

Consider, that for most of LGBT community, we have grown up thinking of the government as our enemy. And we weren't wrong about that at all. Not only have they have denied us marriage and all the 1,300 rights that come with it, but they continuously passed countless laws to directly target us for discrimination, like sodomy laws, and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." and the Defense of Marriage Act and adoption bans. And they're still coming, ("Don't say gay"). They've conducted witch-hunts in the State Department, the military and virtually all branches of the government over time. The message is heard over and over, "You don't belong to this country. You are a danger. We have our eyes on you. You must be punished and contained."

And it's painful to the LGBT psyche. Because like the rest of the country, we do love our country. We do appreciate that it is a land of extraordinary opportunity and a very unique and beautiful place in the world. America is a land that has welcome countless millions of people from all walks of life and often lifted them up out of poverty and provided a nice life for them. But with every discriminatory law that is passed, we're told we're not worthy of all that. There is promise in this land, but it's not for you.

So, I watch these displays, like happened in California, and New York and now in Washington, with a sense of awe. Not only are our relationships being recognized by laws, they are actually being celebrated with the enthusiastic endorsement of the government. And it's a beautifully healing moment for me that the promise of America, something I was really taught to believe in as a child, really can come true, for everyone no matter who you love.

• Lots and lots more pictures on Flickr here and here.

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 06:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays and Kossacks for Marriage Equality.

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