Vermont governor Peter Shumlin fulfilled a campaign promise Wednesday when he presided over the wedding of a lesbian couple, making this event a first for a sitting U.S. governor.
Shumlin, a first-term Democrat, pronounced Ann and Michele "Mitch" Beck married at a ceremony in his office.
At a meet-and-greet last June, the two approached him and thanked him for helping pass the gay marriage bill when he was state Senate president pro tempore. A year later he held the ceremony, during which he read a poem, after spending $100 to obtain a certificate as a "temporary officiant."
"I had to pull big strings to make this happen," said Shumlin, "This isn't in my job description."
Ann Beck, 55, and Mitch Beck, 56, are retired after working as administrative assistants at the U.S. Army's Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H. Both had been married before, and they met in 2002 through personal ads in a newspaper.
"We said that's the one campaign promise we're going to hold you to," Ann Beck said.