If I hadn’t gone to the Washtenaw County Clerk’s office on Saturday morning, I don’t think I could live with myself.

I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren that I was a part of history, and history was happening at 9 AM, March 22 as the first marriage licenses were issued to same sex couples in Michigan.

There were hundreds of us. Couples waiting to be married, their parents, children and friends. Before the building opened the line snaked around the block. I took my place with the officiants, having obtained a non-denominational ordination several months ago in anticipation of this day.

When the doors opened, the crowd crushed forward. Clergy and judges, almost two dozen of us, gathered in a downstairs conference room, ready to perform ceremonies as the licenses were issued. The first couple emerged from the clerk’s office to cheers and came to the conference room to be married by Judge Judith Levy, Michigan’s first openly gay judge.

Judge Levy had been sworn in just four days before and was performing her first official act as a Federal judge. “Marriage is a civil right,” Judge Levy reminded us.

The vows were said, rings exchanged, the couple kissed, the crowd cheered and Michigan had one more married couple – just the same as every other, yet so historically important.

The crowd seemed to grow and grow. The conference room heated up. Donations began arriving – bouquets of flowers for anyone who didn’t have them. Cases of water. Cake. Rainbow confetti. A violinist began playing in the lobby. A photographer took pictures and collected emails to send them to the couples. Families milled around with their children, waiting to witness and celebrate the marriages of total strangers because they felt drawn to this place.

The second ceremony, officiated by a local pastor, began.

Two women approached the table. “We’re number 3,” they said. They had been together for 8 years and had 5 children, including twin babies waiting at home. They weren’t sure if they could have their ceremony because they had no officiant and brought no witnesses. Two people nearby volunteered as witnesses, and I started my first wedding ceremony, saying words I had rehearsed in my head for months.

“Some will say what we do here today is revolutionary,” I began, “Some will say it is historic. But I have another word for what we are about to do... Redundant. Nothing we can do here today will add to or change in any way the fact that you are married. You did that long ago. We are here to play catch-up on behalf of the state of Michigan. And as the representative of the State in this ceremony, I want to say, thank you for not giving up on us.”

I led the brides through the same vows that my husband and I made 21 years ago at our own wedding. The couple kissed, the crowd cheered, confetti flew.

I officiated three ceremonies and served as a witness for another. My Rabbi arrived and a chupah – a Jewish wedding canopy -- was raised in the corner for two couples from my congregation.

At one point, I could simultaneously hear a Hebrew prayer, an Apache blessing and a judge asking if a couple were there of their own free will. More than 70 licenses were issued. The Clerk’s office closed, and we were done for the day.

Hours later, the sixth circuit issued a stay of the historic ruling that had made it all possible. Who knows when I will be able to officiate weddings – all weddings, without discrimination – again.

This amazing day was not about me. But it was about people like me: a community – regardless of sexual orientation – putting together the pieces of a wedding and making it happen for our neighbors. That is what I will tell my grandchildren when I tell them about the day Michigan made history.

To talk about the sweeping changes we've seen in the last decade and look at some upcoming challenges, we're talking about Marriage Matters. This series of blogs deals with the history of the fight for LGBT rights and takes an in-depth look at the DeBoer case, which could impact marriage equality in Michigan and beyond. 

Guest post by Naomi Zikmund-Fisher 

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