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The senator suggested the date himself.
Sen. Tim Kaine fits the bill of America’s coolest dad pretty well: He plays the harmonica, he makes punny jokes, and he is super progressive on same-sex marriage and other LGBTQ issues. The senator doesn’t just pay queer issues lip service, either. In fact, when he heard that a lesbian couple was struggling to arrange their wedding before President Donald Trump took office, he took matters into his own hands and officiated the wedding himself.
Dea Jones and Sharon McLeod, 64 and 61 years old, respectively, had a commitment ceremony in 2002, but like many same-sex couples were worried about how the Trump administration would impact their rights and legal protections and wanted to make their marriage legal as soon as possible.
When Kaine heard through a friend, Jones’ brother, that the couple was still seeking an officiant, he volunteered to do it. And he suggested a very special day for the occasion: Jan. 20, 2017, President Trump’s first day in office.
While Kaine likely had visions of a very different inauguration—one where he and his former running mate, Hilary Clinton, won the election—he still spent the day celebrating love.
Marissa Higgins is the editor of Green Matters. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Salon, NPR, and elsewhere.