First Two Same Sex Couples to Be Married in Washington, D.C..

Gay Couples in Nation's Capital to be Married as "Spouse" and "Spouse"

ByABC News
March 8, 2010, 11:24 AM

Mar. 8, 2010— -- A simple update headlined the Superior Court of D.C. Marriage Bureau Web site this week: NOTE: Pursuant to the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009, A18-248, effective March 3, 2010, same sex couples may apply for marriage licenses in the District of Columbia.

After applying on forms that now read "spouse" and "spouse," some same-sex couples will begin to receive marriage licenses Tuesday morning with wedding ceremonies following the same day, even as some opponents vow to work against the measure.

First Couples

Angelisa Young, 47, and partner Sinjoyla Townsend, 41, will be the first D.C., same-sex couple to wed.

Young and Townsend met 12 years ago at the University of the District of Columbia as undergraduates in a constitutional law class. Both are lifetime residents of the metropolitan area and each of them is a D.C. government employee. They will be married at the headquarters for the Human Rights Campaign, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender lobbying group.

The days of awaiting their marriage have been transformative, they said.

"This week has been a whirlwind," Young told the ABC News Law & Justice Unit. "We are in the process of getting dresses and flowers. We got in line for an application Wednesday at six in the morning and they said we were No. 1. It is just a dream come true."

Making it Legal

Most importantly, Townsend said, they share a sense of gratitude.

"I feel proud, elated," she said. "I am very thankful for the effort the City Council put in."

"I work with a lot of sadness," Young, who's employed by the attorney general's office, said, "and I just felt pride and I felt respected. I felt all of those emotions at once."

Although they had a commitment ceremony five years ago and are registered domestic partners, the couple said, marriage, to them, is different.

"We feel gratitude that we are being included," Young said. "We have the legal right to love each other and to provide. I think everyone can understand that."

Few Protestors

The Young-Townsend nuptials will not be the only one at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters Tuesday. The couple will be joined by Reggie Stanley, 50, and Rocky Galloway, 50. Stanley works in financial services and Galloway is a project manager at a tech firm.