Today, we get to celebrate the Supreme Court ruling which guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage—once again, just in time for NYC’s annual LGBT Pride Parade.
Since Matthew’s original blog post, and the US v. Windsor decision, the number of states that allowed gay marriage had grown from 13 to 36—largely as a result of the Supreme Court’s inaction on same-sex marriage appeals in 2014. But June has once again proven to be a historic month for LGBT rights. Originally deemed LGBT pride monthto honor the 1969 Stonewall riots in Manhattan, the US v. Windsor decision was announced in June, and this latest decision comes once again, at the tail-end of the month. (So yes, we’ll be celebrating this weekend.)
Back in his 2013 blog post, Matthew chronicled his history with the book, The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings, by Tess Ayers and Paul Brown. To paraphrase his original recounting of its history:
Matthew happened to be the marketing manager for that book back at Harper San Francisco, when it was first published, in June 1994—with “faith that one day there would actually be gay and lesbian weddings.”
In the intro of the original edition of their book, Tess Ayers and Paul Brown wrote:
In other words, we approached this book as if same-sex marriage were suddenly legal.”
Today, 21 years almost to the day since Tess and Paul’s The Essential Guide to Lesbian and Gay Weddings was first published (ten years before Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage), the entire country over can say, “When we say wedding, we mean wedding.”
Tess and Paul: Twenty-one years may not quite qualify as “suddenly legal.” But your vision for a “different, better, more equal world” has now arrived.
Paul Brown has a BA in theater arts from Harpur College, Binghamton University. Over the years he has worked in theater (treasured every moment), a bit in television (not so much), and a stint in “celebrity journalism” (seemed like a good idea at the time). For the past fifteen years Paul has taught Special Education in Los Angeles. He met Tess Ayers several months before her wedding over two decades ago (then called a “commitment ceremony”). When the honeymoon was over, they collaborated on the first version of The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings. Currently, Paul is working on a vocabulary and reading comprehension program for students with learning differences. He has never been married himself but he sure knows how to plan a wedding.
Tess Ayers has worked in advertising and graphic design, written for game shows, and was a producer on a number of television talk shows. When she and her partner Jane Anderson decided to have a wedding ceremony in 1992, they were unable to find a proper guide for gays and lesbians, and The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings was conceived and born two years later. In the years since then Tess has been busy raising their son, now 17, and works on the boards of several not-for-profit organizations. Tess, Jane, and Raphael happily divide their time between Los Angeles and Marin County.
Note: The e-book of The Essential Guide to Gay and Lesbian Weddings is only $2.99 at Nook for a limited time!