VT Gov. Presides Over Same-Sex Marriage
Vermont governor Peter Schumlin said that if elected to office he would preside over the marriage of two women he met on the campaign trail, and in a short civil ceremony this week he made good on his word, marrying Ann Beck, 55, and Michele Beck, 56, in what is thought to be a first for a sitting U.S. governor.
Making good on one of his lesser-known campaign promises, Governor Peter Shumlin presided over a same-sex wedding yesterday, as a lesbian couple he had met while running for governor last year were married.
In a short ceremony in his office, the first-term Democrat read a poem and pronounced Ann and Michele “Mitch” Beck married. It was a first for a sitting US governor.
“I had to pull big strings to make this happen,” he said at one point in the ceremony. “This isn’t in my job description.”
He met the two at a meet-and-greet that was organized by one of his campaign supporters and offered to marry them if he got elected.
The LA Times reports that Shumlin came to know the pair after they approached him at a campaign event to thank him for his work in the state Legislature where he helped legalize same-sex marriage in 2009.
At the time he asked if they were married and they said no. He fired back: ’Well you wait, when I’m governor, you come to my office and I’ll marry you.’ ” And they vowed to hold him to that promise. Schumlin became governor in January.
Though becoming governor didn’t give Schumlin the automatic authority to wed the couple, the governor spent $100 of his own money to obtain a certificate to become a “temporary officiate.”
About a dozen family members and friends attended the service. Schumlin said he had never performed a wedding before and that he did the best he could. Ann Beck is quoted as saying the service was “wonderful,” adding, “We’re so honored to have the governor do this for us.”
Congratulations to the happy couple, and kudos to Governor Schumlin for making good on his word.