Gay couple weds on 10-year anniversary of legal marriages - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Gay couple weds on 10-year anniversary of legal marriages

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Ten years ago on Saturday, history was made in Massachusetts, as the commonwealth became the first state in the country to legalize same-sex marriages.

Saturday, one couple celebrated the day with a wedding of their own.

Two years ago, the United Congregational Church of Holyoke voted to become open and affirming to same-gender marriages.

Church leaders said it was not a hard decision to reach.

"We didn't have a strong vocal opposition in the congregation once those discussions got going," said Charles Morkin, a member of the church's pastoral team. "At the beginning, there were some people who brought a question."

Those questions were answered, and Jeffery Anderson and Juan Burgos became the first same-sex couple legally married inside the church.

With more than 100 people in attendance, the couple, who began dating nearly four years ago, said it was hard to believe their day had arrived.

"Just as I was beginning to walk down the aisle, that's when the whole feeling kind of came over me," said Anderson. "Seeing everyone standing there and taking pictures, the magnitude of what we're beginning today is overwhelming."

The couple asked their friend, Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, who is also gay, to officiate the wedding. Morse agreed and received the necessary license to perform the marriage from the governor.

He said this is not a topic that is going away any time soon.

"The exciting thing is that we're a living, breathing part of a movement that is still developing," said Morse. "To be able to have this right and privilege in Massachusetts, to do it right here in Holyoke for our first open and affirming churches, is a very special day for us."

The newlyweds said it's a battle worth fighting for.

"Everything that a straight couple wants, we want," said Burgos. "I think it's fair. We all work together. We can do anything, accomplish anything. Love is key. Acceptance follows right after that."

Anderson and Burgos said it was a complete coincidence that their wedding fell on the 10-year anniversary of Massachusetts legalizing same-sex weddings.

They wanted a May wedding, and they got it in after Mother's Day weekend but before Memorial Day weekend.

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