DENVER — Hundreds came together to celebrate marriage equality in Denver Friday night, following a landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court that enables same-sex couples to marry nationwide.
It was the kind of day when flags of all stripes flew together.
“I’m wearing a this flag t-shirt today because today, for the first time in my 67 years, I feel like an American Citizen,” said Pamela Thiele, of Denver.
The crowd packed the west steps of the state capitol to celebrate, while reflecting on all the steps it took to get there.
“For everything you’ve done, for all you’ve accomplished, give yourself a huge hand,” said Governor John Hickenlooper, one of several elected officials who spoke to the crowd.
It was fitting that Mark Thrun and Geoffery Bateman stood at the foot of the steps to take it all in. Two years ago they stood up as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Colorado’s same sex marriage ban.
“After so many years of working towards equality, to have the judgement come down today it’s just really… it’s indescribable,” Thrun said.
For 14 years Thrun and Bateman described themselves as loving parents but often couldn’t describe themselves as married.
“Designated beneficiary, prior to that we were domestic partners, and then got a civil union,” Thrun said.
Now, two years after they were married on a beach in Washington state, the two fathers no longer have to tell their two sons their relationship status has any borders.
“It tells them that our family is equal,” Thrun said. “That we, that they, shouldn’t be apologetic for having two dads. It’s very empowering.”
It’s also powerful.
“I think to be surrounded by all the people, and there’s so many in Colorado who have spent so many years working on this, just to really take a moment and kind of bask in the accomplishment, it’s huge,” Bateman said.
Other rallies were held across the state, including at the Boulder County Building on Pearl Street between 13th and 14th avenues at 5 p.m.; at Charlie Dwellington’s in Grand Junction at 4 p.m.; and at the Animas City Theatre in Durango at 9 p.m.