Marriage equality is here!

942414_597075527010667_621617003_nToday Rhode Island is a little bit better than it was yesterday. Today all men and women in Rhode Island are free to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. This was a long, hard fought battle but in the end, love and tolerance beat out bigotry and prejudice, and an important step was taken towards forming that “more perfect union.”

Marriage Equality is the law in Rhode Island.

Same-sex couples are free to walk into city halls all across our state and get marriage licenses, starting today. Marriages will be taking place today, throughout the weekend and onto perpetuity. Relationships will be formally recognized by the state, families will be formed, and ten years from now people will be wondering what all the fuss was about.

Perhaps the highest profile wedding today will be the reaffirmation of vows between Representative Frank Ferri, of Warwick, and his longtime husband and partner Tony Carpaco.

At 8:30am, outside the Providence City Hall (25 Dorrance St.), there will be a Marriage Equality Sidewalk Celebration!

According to organizer Mikaela Vento,

The goal here is to provide a comforting, supportive and upbeat environment to those couples by having a ‘sidewalk celebration!’ For any possible threats of opposition, we will be there showing how much we support marriage for ALL families!

KEEP IN MIND ~ August 1st marks our well deserved victory over marriage – let’s keep it a positive experience! The purpose of these events is to enjoy the day. Let’s not spend our time giving our opposition attention and counter protesting them, but enjoying our day by celebrating with one another. Feel free to bring signs.

These celebrations will take place at Providence City Hall (8:30-9:20am) AND the RI State House (9:30-10:00am).

Sure, there are going to be haters in town, but really, who cares about the ridiculous Westboro Baptist Church? Today is a day of celebration, love and joy. Let’s make that the story.

I’ll have some photos (and maybe video) later in the day covering events here in Providence and a late post on the Frank Ferri/Tony Carpaco nuptials.

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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

His photos and video are usable under the Creative Commons license. Free to share with credit.

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

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