Personal News

Jack Fritscher and Mark Hemry marry in a legal Civil Union in Vermont on July 12, 2000.

The license was secured in Brattleboro, Vermont, on July 10, 2000, the fifth business day after the Vermont same-gender decision became law on July 1, 2000. The ceremony was performed by Justice of the Peace, Anne Rider, in Guilford, Vermont, with a reading from Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letter to a Young Poet," and ending with a double-ring exchange at which Anne Rider officially pronounced: "By virtue of the authority vested in me by the State of Vermont, I certify your Civil Union for now and forever."

This union was timed for high-noon on July 12 which is the wedding anniversary of Jack Fritscher's maternal grand-parents, and the wedding anniversary of his parents, as well as the birthday of his mother who was born during the noon hour on her parents' wedding anniversary, extending the family celebration of union to the third generation. Jack Fritscher and Mark Hemry have been partners for 21 years.

On January 11, 1993, the couple was among the first to become legal "Domestic Partners" by filing a declaration with the City and County of San Francisco. On March 25, 1996, the Fritscher-Hemry's participated in the City of San Francisco's historic same-sex marriage ceremony, televised, and officiated by Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr., and Carole Migden, Assembly Woman. On January 13, 2000, they filed a state "Declaration of Domestic Partnership" under the Family Code with the Secretary of State of the State of California.

On Thursday, July 27, 2000, after a honeymoon in Boston and the Russian River, a surprise reception was hosted by Mark Hemry's co-workers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9 San Francisco, celebrating the Civil Union as a new definition of "family" in a world of increasingly ligitimized diversity.

On the actual date of the Vermont Civil Union, the aptly titled Sweet Embraceable You: Coffee-House Stories, the new fiction collection written by Jack Fritscher, was published by Palm Drive Publishing and went into national distribution. The key story, "Mrs Dalloway Went That-A-Way" is a tale of gay marriage. The author dedicated the fiction collection to "My Sweet Embraceable Mark Hemry."

SEE THE RECEPTION in Photographs by Cheryl Henly and videography by Marilyn Huey.

Honeymoon photos, Sonoma County Fair

Read the Gay Wedding Story, "Mrs. Dalloway Went That-A-Way," (in Adobe Acrobat pdf) from the new collection, Sweet Embraceable You: 8 Coffee-House Stories, by Jack Fritscher, actually published on July 12, 2000, the day of the Fritscher-Hemry Civil Union in Vermont. Fritscher dedicated the book to "My Sweet Embraceable Mark Hemry." The book is available at bookstores and Amazon.com.

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Copyright Jack Fritscher, Ph.D. & Mark Hemry - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED