Happy wedding! (for John & Heather)

Last week at the PrideFest parade, I spotted my two recently-met friends John & Heather marching with the ACLU & Equality Works. Here they are looking all properly festive:

John Aronno and Heather James marching with ACLU & Equality Works

Now, I’m a little fuzzy on if it’s today or tomorrow that they’re getting married — but last Saturday after the parade, when I ran into them at the PrideFest picnic on the Delaney Park Strip, I said, hey, I need to get a picture in honor of your wedding. Here it is:

John Aronno and Heather James at Pride picnic

Besides being two really cool people who love each other, Heather & John are also two really cool people who are committed to equality. Together they created the website SOSAnchorage.net to counter & factcheck the lies of the Jerry Prevo/Anchorage Baptist Temple antigay site SOSAnchorage.com (a site I will not, sorry, directly link to); John also has another blog called Alaska Commons, where he also writes a lot about the Anchorage equal rights ordinance. The two nights at the Anchorage Assembly that I sat through the entirety of the evening of public testimony — June 9 & June 16 — were made tolerable in no small part because I was sitting next to them.

Throughout this ordinance fight, I’ve several times found myself thanking straight allies for their testimony at the Assembly, for waving signs outside the Loussac, for being present in the parade. Something always has seemed a little awkward about that, & I finally figured out why [banging side of head with palm of hand in realization: duh!!!!]: they don’t need that kind of thanks. They’re sitting beside us through those long hours of testimony & turning out with us on the Loussac Library lawn & along 36th Avenue with signs, they’re coming to celebrate with us in the PrideFest parade & picnic not just as some kind of favor they’re doing for us. They’re doing it because they are our friends & families, because they care about & love us, they care about justice & fairness for not only their own sisters & brothers & daughters & sons & mothers & fathers, but for everyone’s. Just like I do.  They’re doing it because it’s just part of who they are.

So  you’re not going to hear me saying “Thank you” anymore for testifying or turning out on our behalf.  Instead I’ll be saying, I’m glad to know you, & count you as one of my friends.

In this case, two friends.  Have a beautiful wedding, John & Heather. Have a beautiful honeymoon too.  I’ll look forward to seeing you when you’re back.

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