Politics

Kaine Spent Inauguration Night Presiding Over Same-Sex Wedding

Couple wanted to cement union as they felt new administration puts LGBT rights in peril

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, presided over the wedding of Dea Jones, center, and Shannon McLeod on Friday. (Courtesy Dea Jones and Sharon McLeod).

If he had his way, Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., would have been the one taking the oath of office to become vice president on Friday.

However, after attending the inauguration to watch his opponent Mike Pence become vice president, Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton's running mate, presided over the wedding of Dea Jones and Sharon McLeod — his first of a same-sex couple.

McLeod and Jones, who are 64 and 61, respectively, met in 2000 and had a commitment ceremony in 2002, long before same-sex marriage became legal in most areas of the United States.

But after it was clear Donald Trump would become president, the Kentucky couple decided to act fast.

“We hadn’t been in a hurry to make it legal,” McLeod said. “We really were hoping to do it as soon as we could before the Trump administration.”

Jones’ brother is friends with Kaine and the senator and his staff were the ones who picked Inauguration Day as a possible date.

“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,” Jones said.

The timing also worked out well since many people were in Virginia and the Washington area for the Women's March on Washington the day after.

Kaine was not immediately available for comment but he tweeted a photo of the ceremony afterward.

Jones said it is important for same-sex couples not to delay marriage if they find the person they love.

“Who knows what the future will bring. We’re not on the path I was hoping for,” Jones said. “We would rather just secure our rights a married couple.”

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