Jewelle Gomez gets married and puts a different face on same-sex nuptials

AfterEllen.com reader Traveler tipped us off to the fact that the New York Times featured not one, not two, but three same-sex marriages in this weekend’s edition. One of them was the focus of a longer piece, and it happened to be a familiar lesbian couple: poet Jewelle Gomez and her partner, Diane Sabin.

From the article:

Dr. Sabin met Ms. Gomez at the Oakland, Calif., airport in 1984. Dr. Sabin was there to pick up Ms. Gomez and her partner at the time, who were both taking part in a series of poetry readings that Dr. Sabin was producing in San Francisco.

“I looked at Jewelle, and she looked at me, and it was love at first sight,” Dr. Sabin said. But Ms. Gomez was not available.

Don’t worry — they obviously found each other later, when they were both single and living in San Francisco (Gomez briefly relocated, but came back to the city in 1992).

Sabin (who is a doctor and executive director of the Lesbian Health and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco) promptly asked for Gomez’s hand in marriage, despite it not being legal at the time. In 2004, they were invited to participate in a lawsuit regarding gay marriage, and from then on, they were faces of activism in the pursuit of civil rights.

“We had an important face to put on this issue,” Gomez told the Times. “Would you tell your grandmother she doesn’t have the right to marry?”

So now that the couple have finally wed, it looks to be an important week for them, as well as for many other couples who have celebrated their partnership with a certificate of marriage license. With the vote for or against Prop. 8 looming, celebrities and civilians alike are doing their best to protest the turning over gay marriage.

Hopefully Gomez and Sabin’s faces being prominently posed in the Weddings/Celebrations section of the New York Times so close to election day will be a reminder or even a shove in the right direction to those that remained undecided. How can you deny us when we’re staring at you from the Sunday Times? How can you deny our happiness?

I leave you with this quote from Sabin about how she felt when she was finally able to be with her love:

“I turned my life around. I felt engaged with Jewelle from the moment I saw her — a level of engagement in the fullness of that word.”

Ah, love. If only it felt less criminal to express it.

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