It was close to midnight on June 24, 2011 inside the Senate Chamber at the Capitol Building in Albany, New York. There were hundreds of people anticipating to hear the historic final decision coming from the state Senate, and thousands more outside near the front of the building. The general atmosphere was tense, as tensions and anticipations ran deep within the two groups: those who were for the bill and those who were against it. It would be a life-changing event for many involved, and the outcome would change the state and potentially the entire nation for years to come.
Inside the building as part of the forestalling audience were two woman who were on different ends of the spectrum on virtually everything, but they did agreed on at least two things, that they loved each other madly, and that the bill must pass.
"I hope all that work that we put into it finally paid off unlike two years ago," Jo said to her soul mate of over twenty-five years.
"I hope so too. I had to bend over backwards just to convince some of the Senators to get on board," replied Blair, a proud member of the Log Cabin Republicans (a group of gay, lesbian, bi, and transgendered Republicans).
"Well I'm glad you are doing it. I don't think I could convince a Republican Senator on anything."
Blair smiled, "Trust me dear, Republicans are not as narrow-minded and as stubborn as you make them out to be. You're with me, aren't you?"
"Yes I am, and my heart wouldn't want to be with anyone else but you, despite of our differences." Then she got closer to Blair and tenderly stroked Blair's left cheek, "And also despite that one particular similarity we share."
Blair just smiled, "Well what we share is very precious and special, and no stupid law or opinion will change that."
Jo responded with a firm yet caressing hug as she rested her head on Blair's right shoulder. "Yeah, no stupid law will change that."
At that moment, Jo got a text message on her phone. She pulled it out of her pocket and read it.
"Hey Jo, I got word from confidential sources that Michael Grisanti and Stephen Saland will vote for it, so there will be enough to get it passed."
Jo then got Blair's attention, "Hey Blair, Nat said that the bill will pass."
"Really? I hope she's right?"
"You know her skills as a reporter; she's usually right when comes to things like this."
Then Jo received another text message. It stated, "My iPad2 rocks girl! It really kicks the iPad1's ass, and the Galaxy Tab isn't even in its league!"
Jo just shook her head in disbelief over Nat's obsessions with fads. It was that same obsession that got them selling inflatable palm trees and plastic fishes with pens in them when they opened the store Over Our Heads.
"What else did she say?" Blair asked, knowing how many times Natalie texted Jo on a given day since she had the iPad2, enough to make a newsletter.
"Oh she's braggin' 'bout her new iPad2, as usual, sayin' how it's much bettah than the original iPad."
Blair has a puzzled look on her face, not fully understanding the different between the two. "So what makes the iPad2 more special than the iPad? They're basically the same to me."
"I dunno Blair. I agree with you, but she's makin' a big deal about it! You know Natalie longer than I have; she always has to get the latest junk that's out there. If you ask me 'what's the difference', then I'll tell ya the difference is 200 bucks!" Blair chuckled at Jo's small wisecrack. "And another thing is that ever since she got that thing, she's been textin' me nonstop! She might as well be her own news ticket or Twittah!"
Blair laughed at that one, "Well it looks like she's keeping you busy, I can't seem to get you off of your phone ever since she's got that thing. You're beginning to spend more time on the phone then with me," she said with a fake pout.
"Blair…" she sighed with her eyes rolling.
Finally the speaker came up to the podium.
"Joey, they're going to announce it right now!" Blair chirped. Jo turned her focus to the podium and looked as the secretary of the Senate addressed the audience with the final outcome.
"… Those who recorded the negative are senators Ball, Bonacic, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Farley, Flannigan…"
Jo muttered in anger, "That mother-fucker Diaz."
"Jo," Blair replied with a touch of disappointment on her lips.
"But I'm upset with him. I used to help him and his church out a lot when my patrol was stationed in his district. I feel like he just hawked and spitted on my face!"
"I understand, but honey there's not need to get upset about it. He was against it from the get-go."
And Blair was right. A few seconds later the secretary announced the total.
"Ayes: 33, Nays: 29"
Blair and Jo were totally stunned at what they just heard. Did they hear it correctly? 33 to 29? It was only two years ago that the bill was figuratively slaughtered. Now the everlasting dream of getting married became a reality.
They didn't say anything for a second or two, as the shock was still in effect, then suddenly they screamed and jumped for joy. Then they hugged each other like never before, not even the early days when their attraction for each other was new. Tears were flowing from the couple's eyes like the iconic New York natural beauty Niagara Falls and both were overwhelmed with the sudden explosion of happiness this has brought unto them.
"Oh my God, we finally get to put hyphens in our last names!" Blair joshed.
"Yeah I love to call myself Joanna Polniaczek-Warner, and that birthday/engagement party you had for me was not in vain."
"Natalie was right! I should give her a gold bracelet for it!" Blair said ecstatically.
"I know Natalie won't object to that!"
They had been engaged since 2005 (see the FoL fanfic: Joanna (I Love You)) and now they could finally and legally say that they were a couple. Their plan was to add the last names of their partners to their existing one, so Blair Warner will become Blair Warner-Polniaczek and vice versa.
Still rejuvenated by the wonderful news, the couple finally locked lips and kissed to show their love for each other. After they finished their kissing, a couple came up to Blair, "Oh my God, this is like so amazing! I can't believe this is going to happen, all thanks to you." The woman speaking was a friend of Blair and also a fellow Log Cabin Member.
Blair smiled then chuckled, "Well, if you know who you know, anything can happen!"
"All because of that speech you gave at the conference in the Poconos two weeks ago."
Two weeks ago, Blair gave a stunning speech to the Republican senators about gay marriage and how it was part of a Christian virtue of equality. She used references of Ruth and Naomi as examples where the Bible encouraged same-sex relationships. But the biggest one was that she made it clear that the Republican Party was about government out of people's lives, and that it was not in their place to say who should and who shouldn't be married. She emphasized that it was not a government nor a state issue, but a church issue. Apparently it worked with at least four of the Senators, they voted for it.
"We should give those two a call back to New York!" Blair exclaimed.
"We should. I wonder how people are reacting in Greenwich Village." as Jo reached into her slacks pocket to get the phone. But as soon as she was about to call, she got a text message.
"OMG! I can't beleive the day has finally come! I'm so xcited! We can finally get married!" One of Jo's friends texted. She was so excited; she didn't bother to correct her spellings.
While still talking to Blair, Jo texted back, "I know. Me n' Blair are crying over dis! So how are things over there?"
"A blast! The people r going crazy over here. Lady Gaga music is playing and the people are dancing, but hey, it's Stonewall Inn 4 crying out loud!"
The woman was texting from Stonewall Inn, the same place where back in 1969, a confrontation between the police and the patrons of the bar started and thus began the Gay rights movement.
"Well we'll be there tomorrow. Tell everyone thanks for their support."
Jo then faced Blair. "There's no need, she texted me back. " She showed the text messages to Blair. Blair took the phone from Jo's hands and read it. When she tried to scroll down, she accidentally pressed the wrong button and instead music came out of it. It was the sentimental 80s ballad, "Hold Me", by Whitney Houston and the Teddy Pendergrass. It was loud enough that people near their surrounding heard it and started giggling. Jo quickly took the phone from her and turned it off.
Red as a cherry from the embarrassment, Jo gave a bashful apology, "Sorry about that." Blair was just as embarrassed but she didn't say anything.
"Isn't it too soon for something like that?" one stranger joked.
"That was an accident, sorry." Blair replied. However that song gave her a 'brilliant idea.'"
"Hey, this should be our wedding song. Remember you played that song on our special night?"
Now Jo was red for a much different reason. "Of course I do, that's when we truly became intimate."
"I can't think of a better song for our wedding dance, because I do want you to hold me – tight."
A mischievous smile formed on Jo's face, "Why not right now?" Jo said as she quickly grabbed her and wrapped her arms around the love of her life. Jo was firm yet still soft to hold. Blair always loved that about her, she was tough on the outside, but tender on the inside. Blair instinctively laid her head softly on Jo's neck and shoulder and wrapped her arms around her soulmate's waist.
Blair then started speaking from her heart, "Our love must be very special, because we're almost totally different, yet somehow we can't live without each other's love."
"That's because we complement each other." Jo said. "We look out for each other and we know that we will always be there for each other." Blair just nodded her head in agreement.
As the celebration was still going on, they continued to embrace each other, savoring the wonderful moment they were sharing.
Back in Greenwich Village at the Stonewall Inn, a short, natural wheat-blond girl in her early-40s with light brown eyes finished her texting and ordered another drink in celebration. She was wearing just a T-shirt with a pair of jeans.
"Hey bartender, give me another Red Bull and Vodka!"
"No problem honey child!" he replied.
Her partner came out of the bathroom. She too was a blond, but her hair was more like sunshine blond and she was a few inches taller as well. "So did it pass?" she said with a Midwestern accent.
"With flying colors honey! It was 33-29!"
"Great!" She responded with a kiss to her lover's lips. "This is one of the happiest days in my life." Now she started to cry, and it made her soul mate cry as well. Their blissful embrace added more to the joy that was in the air as there were other couples rejoicing on the good news.
Finally after their hug, the first woman said, "But honey, an even happier day will come later on this year, thanks to those wonderful 33 senators."
The other woman smiled, understanding what she really meant. "And who said all politicians are idiots?"
The coupled laughed, but then the latter got serious again. "I'm glad to be living here in New York, where at least there's an opportunity for something like this to happen. I can't say the same back in Kansas."
It also made her devoted partner sad as well. "Don't let it get to you, sugar. Eventually things will change. Your parents and relatives weren't accepting of me when they first heard about us right?"
"Right," she said while holding her head down. "And some are still not."
"That's because they're with that Westboro Baptist Church wacko, Fred Phelps. However, the rest of them now consider me a part of their family. One day, Kansas will finally see us as equals and one day other people will also be able to marry whoever they see fit over there." The other woman smiled.
"I can't wait to see that day."
"I can't either, but for right now let's talk about our day, we need to make a date to say 'I do'."
"I say we need at least six months to prepare for the wedding. I can get the invitations ready and you can work on finding the location."
"That's not a problem. I already know a place, thanks to Blair. I can call and find a spot for six months from now," the shorter girl informed her.
The other women had a huge smile when she heard that, "Oh that's so awesome! I can't wait for that day to come."
"Yeah, we can finally call ourselves Mrs. and Mrs. Cindy and Sue Ann Weavster." They ended with a smooch.