Do you remember the first time?
You know, the first time you saw that ONE person that you just knew you had to spend the rest of your life with? The way you couldn't seem to get words past your tongue without stuttering, the one who made your palms sweat and head spin every time they came near you. Waiting so eagerly for them to text you back so you could think of something cute or witty to say, hoping they would be smiling on the other end?
Did you hold onto that person? Did you nurture that love and spend time building a glorious relationship build upon trust and respect?
Did you get married? Did your groom dip you romantically while you kissed him for the first time as a married couple as everyone applauded? Do you remember dancing with daddy while he cried, cutting your cake and smashing it in your new husband’s face? Good times, right? Memories to last a lifetime….Are you still together? Have you started a family or planning one? Are you certain for better and for worse you have become one heart, experiencing life together as a single entity exploring the joys and sorrows of eternity together?
Raymond and Matt are.
They have been together for longer than most married couples I know. 9 years and they share a love that is true and beautiful, just like the one I share with my husband, or you share with your wife.
Last year, they tried for a marriage license, knowing full well they would be rejected. They wanted to try it anyway, as an act of solidarity.
You can watch the heartfelt video footage of it HERE.
Thursday, October 26th, at 11 am I met with the amazing people with the Campaign for Southern Equality.
20,000 followers on facebook alone (and counting!) you can see this is not a small community of people looking for LBGT rights in the south. That is not even counting the masses who are afraid to come out publicly, for fear of judgement or being ostracized in the community.
We met at the Rose center, said a prayer that moved me to tears and went on our way to the courthouse.
The rain did not stop us from a slow walk across the street during lunchtime.
There was unity and purpose to what we were doing, even if we knew the inevitable result.
We came together again in a circle of prayer.
I truly felt a connection right here. It was a beautiful.
Reverend Jasmine Beach-Ferrara waits anxiously with Raymond and Matt as we prepare to enter the courthouse.
There was a tangible sense of unity, pride and love in the air.
People from all walks of life came to support this brave act and show their support in this beautiful movement that is happening in our nation.
Holding hands as they made their grand entrance, cameras flashing and news reporters crowding them, Raymond and Matt made their way inside.
Raymond and Matt approached the counter and what happened next filled my heart with
love and so much hope…
This kind woman, she could have just shot them down right away if she wanted to. What she did instead was go through the process with them, hearing out their story and why they want to be married.
Raymond explained how hard it is to realize his own mortality and fear what would happen to his love if he were to leave this world. He had a close call this year with a hit and run accident that really shook his world.
The bottom line is they love one another.
The same why you love your spouse.
The only thing they intend to do is continue that love with all the same rights members of the straight community get by default.
What is so wrong about that?
It was an emotional experience for everyone, myself included after the clerk upheld the law by denying their union as husbands, owing to no fault of her own. We took a moment to decompress before the paparazzi interviewed the couple.
Regardless of the outcome, we were so proud of Raymond and Matt for taking a stand today.
I cannot wait for the day Tennessee couples can finally say ‘I do!’ and revel in the love and commitment of a satisfying and happy marriage.
This matter is very close to my heart, being raised with family members and best friends who are gay and transgender, most of which are sadly not out yet for fear of unfair treatment, threats of violence or confrontation.
I pray for the day we will all have equal rights, as the founding fathers of this great nation intended. I will continue the support until all 50 states are legal.
I will never stop loving each and every soul and I intend to teach my children the same, just as my family taught me. Because it’s right.
I would also like to officially announce (it has been off the record until right now) it would be my pleasure to capture the special moments in your family’s history. No matter who you are, all sexual orientations, I will photograph your engagement, marriage, newborn and family photos with care and love.
All are welcome at Ashley Lodge Photography.
Love Will Win.
Feel free to leave a comment or give me a call! I love hearing from you <3