What makes a newly legal wedding even greater for some gay couples? Tying the knot alongside dozens of other same-sex Houston pairs in a mass ceremony to celebrate equality.
Enter Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church. The LGBT Houston congregation blessed a few Texas newlyweds on SCOTUS Decision Day June 26, but waiting another week until the following Sunday gave them time to really roll out the red carpet for 45 local couples in the church’s Big Texas Legal Wedding.
From longtime partners who waited for legal unions in Texas, to married same-sex couples renewing their vows from other states, to newly minted sweethearts, the I-Do Crew represented a wide spectrum of LGBT love, according to the Chronicle.
The couples were incredibly diverse. Norma Flores and Ernestine Renteria have known each other for just four months. Irina Birisheva and Nathalie de Vos Buchart met eight years ago at Chance's Bar and married two years later in Washington, DC. Classmates at Houston Community College, Nesreen Alawami and Noelia Flores have been together for 19 years before marrying Sunday.
But all of the couples had at least one thing in common: They wanted the state to sanction and legally recognize their union, and they wanted it officiated by pastors including RMCC’s Troy Treash, who had performed countless ceremonies. But the ones he and others have seen at the church over the last 43 years served as symbolic personal and even political statements but not official marriages before Sunday.
“We are not here in protest, but in celebration,” said Rev. Troy Treash, a gay man who has married same-sex couples unofficially for 25 years. “Regardless of gender, love is love.”
Indeed. A rainbow-wedding-cake reception followed the ceremony with the couples, their loved ones and supporters.
It was a packed house, according to KHOU, and it was a Texas-sized wedding that few of the couples in attendance thought they’d see made legal in their home state until recently, they told KPRC. Another couple was there to celebrate and commit but won’t officially wed until their 25th anniversary in January, according to KTRK.Others described to the CW emotions from “overwhelming” to “full of love” and “surreal.”
No matter their story, no matter how they viewed their relationships, the couples all walked away with one thing in the eyes of the state of Texas.
Rev. Dr. Michael Diaz smiled and remarked, “We've got husbands, we have wives, partners, spouses – but they're all legally married couples.”