As you may have seen Friday, Satan ice-skated to work, as Hell has frozen over. Thats right, marriage equality fell out of the clear blue sky and landed in the unlikeliest of places, bright red Utah!
As news trickled in and we placed our jaws back in our mouths, we realized Judge Shelby's incredible decision was effective immediately. What followed was a mad dash – first to the wrong building – then seventeen blocks south to the right one. When we arrived, the lobby of the county building was in joyful pandemonium. We went upstairs and got in line with hundreds of other bewildered people to get paperwork and our license. As we waited, friends started to arrive to see if this was happening with their own eyes. Our friend's Elizabeth and Philip showed up with his mother, who had just arrived from Norway. She happily stood in line with us, acting as a proxy parent. Our friend Peter and his wife showed up to witness for us. Mark's brother Doug and nephew Blaine were there, and more and more people kept pouring in. The whole time we were worried that the panic-stricken busy-bodies in the Attorney General's office would send the sheriff to shut it down.
Once in the clerk's office, Mark filled out the form (Me as "Groom", and Mark as "Wife", because why not?). When we walked out of the office into the hall where the ad hoc collection of justices and ministers were performing the weddings, Mark raised the license over our heads and the waiting crowd went crazy.
Someone magically arranged for us to be taken directly to the mayor, who was beaming, and greeted us with hugs. So in a random hallway in a bland municipal building, we too each others hands after 15 years of being together. The magnitude of the moment really hit when he concluded, saying "In accordance with the laws of the State of Utah, and by the power vested in me as the Mayor of Salt Lake City, I now pronounce you legally married." The crowd of overjoyed friends and strangers cheered.
At 3:30 on Friday afternoon we had no earthly clue that by 6:30 that evening we would be legally married. But we were, and are. And it happened in our own state, performed by the Mayor of our hometown. If that is not a Christmas miracle, we don't know what is.
The forces of darkness will no doubt clamber to turn back this bright moment in history, but we know they will fail in the end. We love you all, and hope that our joy will contribute to yours this holiday season!
Mr. and Mr. Mark and Jesse Walker-Hofeling (or Hofeling-Walker, we haven't worked that out yet!)