"Everyone should have the right to joy and happiness." Readers congratulate Carol Adair and Kay Ryan on their recent marriage, and call on the rest of the country to follow in San Francisco's footsteps.

By Salon Staff
Published March 1, 2004 6:40PM (EST)

[Read "Here Come the Brides," by Carol Adair.]

I know you are going to get hundreds of e-mails just like this, but I still had to thank you for this story. I am sitting at my desk at work, sobbing into my coffee and forwarding this story to everyone I know. Although I no longer call San Francisco home, I am proud to say that I once did and I long to be there now, cheering every couple on. Thank you.

-- Jessica Mott

Separate but equal is anything but equal. Everyone should have the right to joy and happiness, and a long life married to your loved one. I am a single, straight woman in my 30s, and I only hope I am as lucky as Carol and Kay.

-- Debbie

Thank you for your heartwarming story. After fuming over the story of how George Bush has subverted science and young people's health in the name of his moralistic abstinence-only programs, it was wonderful to read about true justice for gay couples.

Most of all it was moving to read about the volunteers and all of the goodwill and support those couples received. In a world where it seems ignorance, hate and bigotry have taken control, it was a relief to know that there are still so many compassionate and fair-minded people of all orientations. I am straight (and married), but if gay marriages become legal in Pittsburgh, I'll be right there, cheering my friends on.

-- Karen Kasper

This article made me weep. What a beautiful moment in our history! Kudos to everyone for their courage and commitment -- the newlyweds, the volunteers, the supporters and the officials who all participated in this wonderful act of civil disobedience!

-- D'Vorah Bailey

This article has been perhaps one of the most beautiful pieces that I've read anywhere in a while. It brought tears of joy and frustration in the eyes of this straight guy; joy in that these two people were finally allowed to have society-sanctioned union, frustration in that it took so long for it to happen.

-- James Poteet


-- Robert Oakley

What a beautiful story! My sincerest congratulations to Ms. Adair and her bride!

I have always supported gay marriage. It makes me sick that two heterosexual people can meet on the street in Las Vegas and be married a few hours later, but two people who have a cherished, loving, monogamous relationship for many, many years, cannot achieve the same. Fox can create reality shows marrying people off for cash, but two people in love, if they happen to be the same gender, can't unify their family.

I live in Texas, so I know it will be a long time before gay couples in my state will be able to be "unspecial" like me, and that really, really sucks.

Thank you for making me think about how lucky I am to be "unspecial" -- and how very, very much I want that same "unspecialness" for everybody, no matter who they love.

-- Heather New

I was reading Carol Adair's wonderful account of her wedding in San Francisco, when I heard George Bush on the radio announcing his support of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

I just don't understand how people, good people, can oppose something so right and fair and joyful as letting couples who love and care for each other marry. If you support families, well, these are families. What is the disconnect that allows someone to look at a couple that have been devoted to each other for 50+ years, or a couple holding their twin daughters as they recite their vows, and think, "this is wrong." These marriages aren't wrong, what is wrong is discriminating against them.

Gavin Newsom gets this. Jean Cretien gets this. It isn't rocket science, people, it's simple. And yet George and Dick (whose own daughter is an out lesbian) are willing to pander to our baser instincts and write discrimination into our Constitution, knowing that it is not compassionate, as they claim to be, or uniting or even consistent with conservative philosophy to take rights away from the states. What cowards.

-- T. Fraser

I'm surprised sometimes that anything can move me to tears. The world seems so jaded I often think it's impossible.

But at the moment I am sitting in Bavaria, living with my boyfriend, resentful as hell that the only way people seem to think it's OK for us to be together is through marriage. I'm resisting what so many are fighting for right now in my old hometown.

Put very simply, it's an option, a choice.

I want to be able to choose not to marry, and yet have an option to be with him. For the same-sex couples marrying in San Francisco they finally have the simple choice of declaring, officially, that they want to be together. This takes nothing from me, threatens nothing that I hold dear. How extraordinary that people must go to such lengths in order to declare love and devotion to another. A simple, beautiful thing made so complicated by silly laws and prejudices.

I want to marry one day too, not now, but someday when it feels right. I want that for everyone. To keep it from some due to gender or religion is to cheapen it for the rest of us.

Keep it up, San Francisco; I hope others take the hint.

-- M.D.

Thank you to Carol Adair for sharing the story of her wedding. You know, I'm straight, but that was one of the most romantic things I've read in a long time.

I don't think the government can grant you the right to marry. As a human being you already have that right. The government can either recognize it or refuse to. But the right itself remains unchanged.

God bless you, Carol -- and many more years of happiness.

-- Cathy Beerbower

Carol -- thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me "be there" on your wedding day. My fiancie and I would like to wish you and your Kay all possible happiness. We only hope our marriage will endure as long as yours has.

-- S.M. Thomas

Thank you for having the good sense and heart to print this beautiful and important story. As I read, I cried for the long lines of deserving lovers hungry for the "mundane" and for the unique and wholesome camaraderie of the persistent crowd. I am not brave nor heroic like them, yet I reap the reward of their simple request.

-- Susie Moore

I read this story the same day that George Bush announced that he thinks it necessary to amend the United States Constitution to protect Americans from other people's gay marriages. I wish that he had read the story. I say this because I don't know how anyone could read this beautiful account of two absolutely "normal" people who are in love and have spent a great part of their lives together -- and who want to have the same opportunity as everyone else to have their relationship officially recognized -- and still think that gay marriage is wrong.

I am truly baffled by the fact that the majority of Americans are against something that has no adverse impact on them. When I hear conservative pundits talk about citizens having gay marriage "forced on them" by activist judges, I wonder what exactly they claim is being forced. Surely being forced to coexist with gay couples who are legally married is not such an onerous burden that it requires an amendment to our Constitution.

And let's not forget that there was a time not long ago when bans on interracial marriage would have had similar support in polls as a gay marriage ban does now. When will we learn to live and let live?

-- Cheryl Crumpton

Salon Staff

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