by Mike Andrew -
SGN Staff Writer
Ed Murray, the state senator who authored Washington's Marriage Equality Act, finally got to enjoy the fruits of years of political labor when he married his longtime partner, Michael Shiosaki, in an August 10 ceremony at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle. The wedding took place on the 22nd anniversary of their first meeting.
Ironically for a man who was accused of trying to destroy traditional marriage in Washington, the ceremony was remarkably traditional.
Murray and Shiosaki, dressed in black tuxedoes and white ties, entered the church to the strains of 'The Prince of Denmark's March,' by Jeremiah Clarke, a fanfare that was also used at Elizabeth II's coronation.
Murray was accompanied by his sisters, Margaret Fox and Judy Murray. His nephew, Jon Noski, was his best man. Shiosaki was accompanied by his father, Fred, and his mother, Lily. His best man was the couple's neighbor, Don Botts.
The ring bearer was the couple's King Charles spaniel, Rory, escorted by Don Anderson. Last fall, Rory made a cameo appearance in the Murray campaign's TV ad, playing himself.
When Murray and Shiosaki reached the altar, the Very Rev. Steven Thomason, dean of the cathedral and presiding priest at the wedding, asked each if they would take the other as his husband, 'in accordance with the purposes instituted by God.'
Each replied, 'I will.'
After readings from scripture, the Rev. Barry Keating, a native of Northern Ireland, preached the sermon.
'For me this is a first,' Keating said, and then added with a sly smile, 'No - not what you think. Here I have a sitting politician, unable to move. And right in front of a cleric!'
Although Murray and Shiosaki came from much different backgrounds, Keating said, both are of 'immigrant stock' and have complementary talents.
Keating spoke of Shiosaki's 'love of beauty' exemplified by the garden he created around the couple's Capitol Hill home. Then turning to Murray, he joked 'And Ed, you're a politician. And that should end it all there.'
As Keating went on, Rory became restless and let out a single loud bark.
'And with the dog's bark, the sermon now comes to an end,' Keating smiled.
Murray and Shiosaki then exchanged their wedding vows and rings, and Thomason pronounced the pair 'married in the sight of God, and legally married in the state of Washington.'
The 250 guests gave the pronouncement a standing ovation.
After offering communion to Murray, Shiosaki, and their guests, Thomason gave a final blessing, and the guests filed out of the church to the tune of Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' to enjoy champagne and other refreshments in a large white tent set up on the cathedral's front lawn.
After 15 minutes, Murray and Shiosaki reappeared on the steps of the church and were surrounded by a throng of well-wishers. They shook hands, hugged their guests, and posed for countless photos.
The couple plans to reserve their honeymoon till after the mayoral election in November, when Murray may become Seattle's first openly Gay mayor.
POLITICAL ALLIES ATTEND
Although the guest list was not dominated by politicians, many public figures were there, including former Gov. Mike Lowry; former Sen. Lisa Brown, who preceded Murray as Senate Democratic leader; and former Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, who lost her bid for re-election in 2012 in part because of her vote for Murray's marriage bill.
Also in attendance were House Speaker Frank Chopp; Sen. Steve Litzow, one of four Republicans who voted for marriage equality; Reps. Laurie Jinkins, Marko Liias, Jim Moeller, and Jamie Pedersen; and King County Executive Dow Constantine.
Although Murray is Roman Catholic, and he and Shiosaki frequently attend Mass at St. Joseph's Church or St. Ignatius Chapel at Seattle University, the Catholic Church will not perform same-sex marriages.
St. Mark's, as an Episcopal church, shares similar ritual and dogma, but performs same-sex marriages and welcomes people of other faiths to participate in its services, including communion. The service for Murray and Shiosaki's wedding came right out of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, and is the same ceremony used for opposite-sex nuptials.
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