lesbian couple holds civil union certificate
May 3, 2013

Witness to History: A Joyful Room


same sex marriage A couple kisses during the first Civil Union ceremony in DenverAs a journalist I have been in many places were people are happy and having a good time. The same with shooting weddings; there is a room full of happy people because two people they love were just joined in marriage. Now imagine that there where hundreds of couples all of whom had been waiting for years and even decades to join hands, exchange rings and sign their names. That was the scene in the Webb Municipal building in Denver on Tuesday night as the clock ticked towards midnight, May 1st and civil unions. The atrium buzzed with energy as couples filled out their application and waited to go through the process before standing in front of an officiant.


For me it was weird to be there not as a journalist but as a wedding photographer. Usually when there is breaking news I am there to shoot it for a news agency, magazine or newspaper. That means that I need to be objective, ignore how I feel about the situation and document it. As a wedding photographer I got to be happy for the people getting married. I was able to celebrate along with them, that was a great feeling.

lesbian couple exchange rings

I have never been in a room with so much joy in it. With that many people finally receiving something close to equal rites the place was buzzing. I don’t think I will ever again be in such a situation. The only thing that could possible top this, is when (not if) there is a federal law legalizing full marriage for same sex couples across the country. Until that day we at Stark Bellamy Photography will continue to photograph weddings for anyone that desires our services.

We see weddings as the ultimate expression of love and commitment and not as a legal construct. Love is love and we will not define it. So if your are getting married to the person that you love, give us a call we can’t wait to meet all the new fiancees out there! And hopefully we get to photograph them. If you do see us using the term “civil unions” it will only be so the search engines can find us.

Note: As you may know we photographed the events for free and made them available on our website to anyone who wanted them. The photos will remain free though we may move the link to a gallery page as demand decreases.


Gay couple kisses

Lesbian couple embraces

judge signs civil union certificate


Eric Bellamy
Wedding Photojournalist at Stark Bellamy Photography
Eric Bellamy is an award-winning photojournalist whose work has appeared on the likes of ESPNHS, the New York Times, Denver Post and more. He now focuses on editorial-style wedding photography and portraiture. He lives with his wife and children, and enjoys climbing rock and ice as well as sampling good wine and food in Northern Colorado.