Even though the state's attorney general is empowering county clerks to deny marriage certificates to same-sex couples in Texas, most same-sex pairs only had love on their mind this weekend.
Two mass weddings took place, one in Austin, the other in Houston. "The Big Gay Wedding" celebration was held on the steps of the state capitol Saturday afternoon, Independence Day. Local businesses donated flowers, music services, and photography for the weddings, which involved about 50 couples. Many expressed incredulity that they could finally marry in Texas.
"So I say, we married before God 26 years ago and we married, finally, with the validation of the United States and State of Texas today," Abigail McNeely told the Austin American-Statesman after marrying Kaye Draper.
Over in Houston, "Texas' Big Legal Wedding" took place at the altar of Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church. Forty couples wed Sunday at the church, part of an LGBT-affirming denomination.
"It's a great day. We're celebrating," Julie Macleod told Houston TV station KTRK. "And it's just been a long time waiting for this to happen. It's finally here. We couldn't be happier."
Another mass wedding is planned for downtown Houston on Friday.