Hillary Clinton’s former running mate Tim Kaine provided some positivity on Inauguration Day.
Just hours after Donald Trump officially became President of the United States, Virginia Senator and Democratic vice presidential candidate Kaine turned to an altogether happier occasion as he helped wed a same-sex couple.
Dea Jones and Sharon McLeod, aged 64 and 61 respectively, met back in 2000 and took part in a commitment ceremony in 2002, more than a decade before same-sex marriage became the law of the land.
Speaking to Roll Call, Sharon said: “We hadn’t been in a hurry to make it legal [but] we really were hoping to do it as soon as we could before the Trump administration.”
The wedding, which marked the first time Kaine had officiated a same-sex couple, came about because Dea’s brother is friends with the senator and his staff – in fact, they were the ones who suggested the date.
Dea said: “How wonderful it would be on Jan 20th it would be to offer love and light by Sharon and I committing ourselves to each other.”
The partners encouraged other same-sex couples in America to get married, as the future for LGBT+ rights looks uncertain under Trump’s presidency – he once said he would “strongly consider” overturning equal marriage laws.
Dea continued: “Who knows what the future will bring. We’re not on the path I was hoping for. We would rather just secure our rights as a married couple.”
After officiating the wedding, Senator Kaine tweeted: “Hitched! Congrats to Dea and Sharon. Was honored to officiate their wedding tonight.”
Hitched! Congrats to Dea and Sharon. Was honored to officiate their wedding tonight pic.twitter.com/8y6BzG14kE
— Senator Tim Kaine (@timkaine) January 21, 2017