For three couples, Annapolis Pride was more than a parade. Crystal Dove and Tammy Collins were married, and two couples — Amena Johnson and Nikki Brooks, and Joy Campbell and Monica Campbell — renewed their vows during the Pride parade and festival on Saturday.
Officiated by Anne Arundel County Clerk of the Court Scott Poyer, the ceremonies happened within minutes of each other to a delighted crowd there to celebrate love, queerness and their right to marry.
Maryland voters approved a referendum legalizing same-sex marriage in November 2012, and it took effect at the start of 2013. On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed all state bans on same-sex marriage and required states to honor out-of-state same-sex marriage licenses in the case Obergefell v. Hodges.
Poyer said his office has about 2,500 weddings each year, with one in every 20 being a same-sex marriage. “This is wonderful. It’s one of the happiest times of the year,” he said.
Collins and Dove were originally set to be married this October. They met in high school and have been a couple since 2020. Collins proposed last August at City Dock. When the couple received an email a few weeks ago about the opportunity to get married at Pride, they jumped on it.
“We love Pride, the acceptance, the unity. Tammy was like, ‘You wanna do it?’ and I was like, ‘Let’s do it!’ Dove said. The couple plan to go on their honeymoon to St. Petersburg, Florida, this October.
Joy Campbell and Monica Campbell came to renew vows Saturday, inspired by friends Johnson and Brooks, who were at the festival to do the same.
Brooks is an artist who created the logo on the Pride T-shirts. It was also Brooks’ first Pride parade.
“It’s cool. I like it a lot,” Brooks said. “I feel free being here.”