Ten same-sex couples married in Founders Plaza outside the County Records Building in downtown Dallas on Saturday.
The event began with speakers, and a sidewalk march followed. Marchers then returned to Founders Plaza for the mass wedding attended by about 150 people. The marriages are not considered legal.
One person who addressed the rally before the march said he was visiting from New York. He was legally married in that state a month ago and was there to protest that his marriage is considered invalid when he travels.
Richard Curtin, who officiated at the weddings, said when his partner of 22 years died last year, he sent off the form marking relationship as “partner.” It was returned as “friend.” He called that a slap in the face by the state of Texas during his mourning period.
After several people spoke, the crowd marched several blocks along the sidewalk. The couples getting married led the march carrying Texas Marriage Equality flags.
Unlike at some rallies, there was absolutely no police presence and there were no protesters. Police were stretched thin because of the State Fair and the Occupy Dallas protests. But soon after the rally began, a contingent of Occupy Dallas protesters joined the marriage rally. However, police from their encampment a few blocks away near City Hall did not follow.
After the marchers returned to Founders Plaza, the wedding began.
Couples lined up and Curtin announced the names of each pair. They proceeded down the plaza holding hands and walking between a line of onlookers. Tina Sokol and Suzan Cooke said they’ve been together 11 years. Henry Ramirez and his partner Tony have been together 10 years and already had a ceremony last year. Ashlyn Jones and Amanda Evans, who were profiled in Friday’s Dallas Voice, have been together five years.
The event was sponsored by GetEQUAL. Daniel Cates, leader of the local GetEQUAL group, organized the rally and protest. For more photos, go here.