For fourteen years — 2002 through 2016 – I was appointed as a Justice of the Peace for the City of Somerville and over those years officiated just over 400 weddings. I was lucky enough to have been a JP in those particularly joyous days when same sex marriage was approved in Massachusetts. That first week I hosted a “get married” event at Somerville City Hall with catering from local businesses and about a dozen couples joining me in the Aldermanic Chambers.
In preparation for many of the weddings I officiated I would first meet with the couples at Diesel. It was over coffees there I was first able to hear the stories of how they’d met, what led each of them to fall in love, their visions for their wedding day and for their marriage. These partnerships were endlessly varied and the space at Diesel was a welcoming one for all people.
For me, my role as a Justice of the Peace was foremost to be a trusted witness to the vows of these couples. In those many introduction meetings Diesel served as a kind of witness too, a place I trusted to safely hold these conversations that were both intimate and professional, ones to prepare our trio for public declaration of deep and heartfelt experiences.