Lauren and Amy: Participants in the WE DO Campaign who will request a license on Tuesday, October 11, 2011.
“Lucky I’m in love with my best friend,” we sing these sweet lyrics often as they fit us so well. We laugh together, cry together, work together, play together, pray together. We love living in Asheville, taking our three rescue puppies (Cha Chi, Buster, and Klondyke) for walks, swimming, good music, and long conversations. We enjoy expressing our creativity together. One night, we decided our guitars needed painting. So one is covered with Life Savers and one is covered with tropical fish. Our heroes are Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Harvey Milk. We live in a 106 year old house in downtown Asheville with seven friends who were homeless before they came to us. Our love for each other is a precious gift, and we celebrate that every day.
One of our favorite places is a little city park on Magnolia Street. We love it because it has an adult size swing. As little girls, we both loved to swing. In this little park, we get to reclaim the joy of swinging or sitting on the slide under the stars telling each other our hopes and dreams. One beautiful day, Amy wrote the words “Marry Me!” in the mulch just in front of the adult swing. And we went swinging to celebrate our engagement.
Our life is full of love—so much so that it overflows to others in our city. Together, we began a community called BeLoved that shares hospitality, life, and relationships with those most vulnerable in our city: people who are homeless, disabled, families living in poverty, immigrants, senior citizens, and other neighbors in need. We share meals, clothes, shelter, support, advocacy, and most of all, friendship in a way that is mutual and creates a positive atmosphere where we all have gifts to share and we all help to meet each other’s needs.
When we gather at our community house, we hold hands in a circle before we pray. We always say, “Remember that you are holding the hands of your equals.” Today, we come to the Register of Deeds office to say that we are equal and that the laws need to change to reflect that. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a movement to remind the people of this country what God and our own Declaration of Independence says so clearly–that we are all created equal. He called people to believe that and then to put that into action with their bodies and their lives. Today, we come to say, “We do!” with our bodies and with our lives. We come because we love each other, and we long to be married. We come because we are living for the day when the laws of this state and this country reflect the reality of equality that we know is true.
– Lauren and Amy