Yesterday I went into work to find a message on my voicemail from a friend who also works for the city and she said there was going to be a press conference at 9 AM in the Mayor's office and I should be there. I had no idea what was going on, but I trust my friend so off to silly hall I went.
Something about the Mayor's office always makes me feel like I am in trouble, but I put some starch in my spine and marched right in. The lobby of the office was full of reporters with cameras. I stood by the door looking around, seeing no one I knew, but I noticed a rainbow flag in the corner with all U.S., state, and city flag. Something was up, something I wanted to stay and find out more about.
A polite, young woman came up to me and we chatted about the purpose of the press conference. She pulled up an article on her phone and pointed to it. The previous night the Recorder of Deeds had issued 4 marriage licenses to 4 same sex couples. Those couples had been married in the mayor's office and the press conference was to announce the City of St Louis was challenging the constitutionality of the state of Missouri's same-sex ban! Yes, my hometown was standing with the LGBTQ community.
The Mayor came in with 4 newly hitched same-sex couples. He gave a great speech outlining the city's goal. The goal to open marriage to same-sex couples. The City Counselor's Office, the Recorder of Deeds, and the Mayor's office worked together to cause a case challenging the state's ban. The Attorney General of Missouri had already filed an injunction to not allow the city to issue anymore same-sex marriage licences. The Mayor said they will comply, but will continue to press this issue through the courts with the hope the ban will be proven unconstitutional.
I admit, I teared up with pride at my city. Yes, this was an extremely orchestrated legal event, but little old Midwestern St Louis did it (https://stlouis-mo.gov/government/departments/mayor/news/marriage-licenses-to-same-sex-couples.cfm). Also, seeing 4 couples happy and proud to be the first 4 same-sex couples legally married in Missouri filled me with joy. I was so overwhelmed that after the press conference I hugged the Mayor. Yes, I gave him one of those big girl happiness hugs. I am a little embarrassed at myself for being so expressive, but you know happiness should be shared. Congratulations to the newlyweds way to go St Louis!