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Sonya & Stacy

Sonya & Stacy

Moss Beach, California -- 2008

My wedding day was the happiest day of my life so far! (I used to think that was cliche, but now I know it's so true.)

On May 15, 2008 California's Supreme Court ruled under the state constitution that same-sex couples may not be excluded from civil marriage. The court recognized that the fundamental right to form a family through marriage is a basic civil right that applies to all Californians, whether gay or straight, in a same-sex couple or an opposite-sex couple.

Stacy and I had already been planning our June 8 wedding for nearly nine months by the time the court declared that our relationship deserves the same dignity, respect and stature as that of other couples. Our special day was made that much sweeter by this historic recognition.

On a beautiful sunny Sunday in Moss Beach, California, about a mile from our home, Stacy and I were blessed in a commitment ceremony witnessed by about 60 close friends and immediate family members. Vocalist Pamela Rose sang "At Last" as we gifted our family members with Hawaiian leis flown in from the islands. This tradition was our way of saying, "Thank you for raising your daughter. I promise to always love, honor, and care for her." We read heartfelt vows that we had composed for one another. The ceremony was magical!

This snapshot captured the moment we practically danced down the isle after being pronounced "beloved life partners" and sealing it with a kiss. Could we have looked any happier? In the bottom corners, our mothers are smiling at one another and blowing bubbles at us as we pass by. Our friend and officiate in the background is lovingly sending us forth into our new life together.

A joyful celebration followed with moving champagne toasts by two of our parents and two longtime friends. The delicious catered dinner featured macadamia crusted grilled mahi mahi and Hawaiian roasted chicken with cinnamon citrus reduction. Our chocolate wedding cake with butter cream frosting was the best I had ever tasted! My good friends in the band played music for listening and dancing, and I couldn't resist sitting in to play saxophone for Stacy on two of my favorite tunes, "Europa" and "Feels So Good." The performance was inspired. What a beautiful day!

We honeymooned on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where we enjoyed being pampered with massages, lounging on the beach, snorkeling with sea turtles, hiking above stunning coastal views, sailing on a Hawaiian-style canoe at sunset, dining on delicious tropical cuisine, and partying at an elaborate Hawaiian luau complete with a tribal dance show. The glow of our sweet ceremony, joyous celebration, and romantic honeymoon lingers still...

Meet my spouse -- Stacy is a senior principal engineer at an environmental consulting firm, and is also a highly trained energy healer. Originally from New Jersey, she lived in Boston where she graduated summa cum laude from Tufts University, then resided in Albuquerque before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2005. We were introduced by the intuitive mother of a young saxophone student of mine.

Finding and recognizing my perfect life partner took many years of self-realization and risk-taking. I know for sure that being true to myself is fundamental to the quality of my life. Living fully and authentically, with or without permission, provides me with a richness and satisfaction that I wouldn't trade for anything. Then, when and if acceptance or acknowledgment is offered, I simply smile a little bigger.

To show your support for gay marriage, please contact one or more of these organizations:

Let California Ring: "Support the Freedom to Marry"
www.letcaliforniaring.org

NCLR National Center for Lesbian Rights: "The audacity to fight for justice, the perseverance to win."
www.nclrights.org

Human Rights Campaign: "Working for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights"
www.hrc.org