The Opinion Pages

A Milestone Day for Gay Marriage

To the Editor:

Re ”Hundreds of Same-Sex Couples Wed in Massachusetts” (front page, May 18):

On Monday morning, at Cambridge City Hall, it was a triumph for civil rights. I am sure that each of the couples who were there to make their unions official had a deeply personal journey that brought them there.

I was there to celebrate and support the marriage of my dearest childhood friend and her partner. Finally, after 16 years of shared life, with all the trials and tribulations that love brings, their marriage could be called a marriage.

As their baby slept, their 8-year-old daughter waited, proud and patient. She had dressed to celebrate the occasion. After she had waited up all night, her exhaustion seemed to fade when it was her parents’ turn to fill out the paperwork that would allow their union to be called a marriage.

This day was monumental in scope, but the personal triumph in this little girl’s eyes overrode its broader implications.

As she held her parents’ hands and heard the clerk congratulate them, the moment belonged to her.

ALLISON TIBALDI

New York, May 18, 2004