Making it legal #Real Weddings: Western US#commitment ceremony#courthouse#marriage equality#pregnant bride#washington March 21 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatbride Those of you who have read the book will remember Ben & Joriel. They had a wedding on March 20, 2005, but opted not to get legally married because of concerns with marriage inequality. Yesterday was their third anniversary, and they celebrated by making their commitment legal! I was proud to be a witness at their Seattle courthouse wedding: So, why did they decide to make get legally married after all these years? The short answer: Joriel is pregnant. The longer answer is eloquently written out on Joriel's blog: We still feel strongly that the institution of marriage is not what we wish it was … We can only hope that the institution of marriage will continue to evolve and that perhaps we can help that process along by continuing to challenge homophobia, gender role assumptions, religious persecution, and other forms of oppression in our relationship and in our lives. [read the whole thing] Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. @offbeatariel @offbeatbride PREVIOUS DIY wedding favors NEXT Groom's girls and Best women Show/Hide comments [ 10 ] My friends opted not to get married because of similar reasons, and when they became pregnant the family really pressured them with things like "what about the baby" or "think of your children". In the end they had a lawyer draw up papers so her guy had the power of attorney. Reply Ben & Joriel did power of attorney when they did their commitment ceremony. Unfortunately, it just doesn't cover everything when babies get involved … which is the fucked up and sad reality of marriage inequality in the US. 2 agree Reply I really enjoyed that blog entry and the thought behind it. It makes practical sense. Having been partnered with a woman for 13 years and being a parent with her and now engaged to a man, I've got my own mixed feelings about entering into a legal relationship. But when I was living as a lesbian (and did have a rocking 'wedding' 10 years ago), I'd never have resented any heterosexual couple who took advantage of their rights to protect themselves and their family. The fact that a heterosexual couple makes a conscious choice like Ben and Joriel and talks about how they feel the world is unequal makes a big difference. It means something… And I hope that parenthood is great for them both! Congrats all around! Reply Hey, is that my friend Saundrah on the right? Reply OK, sorry for the dumb comment; I see from Joriel's blog entry that it is indeed Saundrah. I was so excited to see her face in a kind of random place! I remember Ben and Joriel's story from the book, and I think it's wonderful how they stood up for their ideals. Their marriage yesterday doesn't diminish any of that. And sometimes you have to be pragmatic. Reply But the important question is: where did the woman on the right get her SHOES?? Reply My fi and I were planning on not getting married for the same reason. We decided after a very in-depth and passionate conversation that we would actually get married. It was a really tough and emotional decision for both of us. We're lucky enough to live in a state (Iowa) where gay marriage could be a reality in the very near future and we're also lucky enough to be married by the judge who wrote the decision that legalized sames-sex marriage in Iowa (even if it was for only one day). Thanks for sharing this story, it's something that we all need to start talking about more! Reply […] special thanks to my dear friend Ben Haley who so graciously took the time to play bridal portraiture with me to get all these ridiculous […] Reply RE:Jenn On April 28th gay marriage became legal in Iowa. Reply Yes marriage does not as equal as they are portrayed. Not only that parents/gender rights are not equal in most states if the parents are not married when the child is born the father has no legal custody though may be required to pay child support Reply Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Comment Participate in this conversation via e-mail No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.