Sarasota – On Dec. 28, Sarasota Pride chairperson Cindy Barnes received her notary stamp. And she wanted it for one reason only—to officiate same-sex weddings on Jan. 6.
Barnes did just that shortly before 9 a.m. in the Sarasota County Courthouse’s courtyard when she united couples Susan and Barbara Pringle and Gail Foreman and Pat Cummins shortly after both couples were granted marriage licenses.
“Welcome to this amazing, historic day!” Barnes announced to a large crowd there to witness the unions. “A day we never thought we’d see.”
Both couples repeated vows and exchanged rings—and all four women became emotional during the exchanges. Afterward they posed for photos with friends and the media before Barnes married another couple—AJ Steverson and Cole Vining.
On Jan. 6, Sarasota County issued 33 marriage licenses to same-sex couples and officiated five ceremonies. In nearby Manatee County, the Clerk’s office issue 17 marriage licenses to same-gender couples and conducted two weddings.