BY Kerry Eleveld
March 09 2010 4:00 PM ET
Sinjoyla Townsend got her wish Tuesday in the nation’s capital.
“I don’t have a political platform, I just wanted to marry Angel — that’s all I wanted to do, and I got to do that,” she said, beaming at a gaggle of reporters and clutching the hand of her new spouse, Angelisa Young, shortly after they married.
Townsend and Young (pictured at right), one of the first same-sex couples to wed in Washington, D.C., had been partners for 12 years, had already celebrated a commitment ceremony, but until March 9 had been denied the right to join their lives in vows that were legally recognized by the District of Columbia.
“We were partners before now — ‘partners’ was left up to anybody’s interpretation of what partners were,” Young explained. “But now that we say we’re married, anywhere in the universe we go, we say we’re married, everybody understands.”
Young added that it had been “frightening” to think that she wouldn’t have been able to speak on behalf of Townsend if, for instance, she had gotten sick and been hospitalized.
Townsend and Young were one of three gay couples — all people of color — who married in back-to-back ceremonies held at the Human Rights Campaign headquarters. Marriages also took place at the D.C. Superior Court house and All Souls Unitarian Church
Michael Crawford, former cochair of D.C. for Marriage and a prominent voice for equality in both the LGBT and African-American communities, said it was “especially gratifying” that many of the first couples to marry were people of color since the district is majority African-American.