One of the best things I have ever done in my adult life was to become a notary public.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I do love the little stamp. But no, that’s not the reason why I love being a notary. It’s the weddings!

Brunswick resident Heather D. Martin wants to know what’s on your mind; email her at

Being a preacher’s daughter, I’ve seen a lot of weddings, and I’ve performed a few myself now. But the first wedding, the one that was the reason I became a notary, that one is special.

Fairy tale best describes the ceremony. Set at a big, old, beautiful barn in Maine with gardens and strung lights and things written on chalkboards – the whole nine yards. The ceremony was followed by a dinner in Portland about six months later, just the two of them and me, where we reaffirmed the important parts, signed the papers and made it legal.

We had to wait those six months because at the time of the lovely garden ceremony, their marriage wasn’t yet recognized by the law. In fact, we weren’t sure it would be.

Their public commitment was not only a leap of faith in each other and in the institution of marriage itself, which any couple must take. It was a leap of faith that society as a whole had advanced to the point where we understood that love is love and commitment is commitment and family is family. That these emotions we feel and the covenant we make are about who we are as people, not about our gender.


I was honored to have been asked by them to officiate, but maybe I should not have been surprised.

Katy and I met while working on campaigns. I was standing next to her on the balcony of the massive auditorium on the day of public testimony on marriage equality. I was working beside her as it moved through the citizen referendum process, and I was watching with her as a saner Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, when law caught up with common sense in determining that love is love and we all have the same basic human rights.

Obergefell v. Hodges is one of three cases Justice Clarence Thomas just suggested might now be considered for overturning in the wake of overturning Roe. That’s correct: Thomas is openly suggesting we do away with equality.

While he was at it, he also suggested that we maybe toss out Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized gay sex, and Griswold v. Connecticut, which allows married couples access to contraception without government restrictions. I’m sorry, but what?

By the way, the legal theory he is citing as a basis to toss these decisions is literally the same legal argument upon which Loving v. Virginia – and by extension his own interracial marriage – is based. Huh.

Well, I don’t know about you, but no. Nope. I am not going back to the dark ages, thanks anyway. I know it’s been a lousy week for the notions of equality, not to mention compassion and decency. (Seriously, what is up with these conservatives being so obsessed with peeking in windows to see what other people do in their own bedrooms?)

I am not willing to relinquish my rights, nor am I willing to buy into the idea that our society no longer cares about the rights of others. I don’t think that’s true. I think we are in a tragic moment where a bully minority has gamed the system, but I also think we are better than that.

So I will put the coffee on; let’s get busy. We have some civil liberties to repair and defend.


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