Interview: Newlyweds Invite Same-Sex Couples to Do First Dance at Their Wedding

Henry Baker

The first dance at a wedding is traditionally reserved for the bride and groom to cut a rug as a married couple for the first time. At one Indianapolis wedding, however, it became a personal -- and political -- act of kindness.

Joe Ball and Meg Liffick, the couple being wed, decided that in lieu of taking the first dance themselves, they would invite their friends who were in same-sex relationships -- and as of yet not able to marry legally in the state of Indiana -- to take the floor first. John Green, a best-selling youth fiction author and friend who was also at the wedding, took a picture of the couples dancing and posted them to his popular Tumblr account. He wrote along with it, "This was a large and very diverse wedding in a state that doesn't even recognize same-sex civil unions, let alone marriage. And yet the ovation these people received while dancing was like nothing I've ever heard at any wedding... If there were dry eyes, I didn't see any." The Tumblr post received 19,000 notes and got attention from many other blogs, making the initially personal gesture to other couples one that made national news.

Before the first dance, Joe read a prepared speech to let everyone know what was going on. It read, "Meg and I feel fortunate to have found love with one another. Often we would say that we were already in a marriage as we had already committed ourselves entirely to each other. Today, we have once again chosen to express that commitment, but to make it legally binding and in the company of you, our witnesses. Sadly, many of our friends and family members do not share in our fortune because they cannot legally express their commitment to each other due to laws that prohibit same-sex marriage. As Meg and I share our love with each of you today, we also celebrate the love of our friends and family in same-sex relationships. Therefore, we would like to honor our gay and lesbian friends by giving them tonight's first dance."

After the coverage, Meg tweeted of the reaction, "Thanks to all who have posted about our wedding. [Joe] and I are delighted to hear the message of equality is spreading!"

Meg and Joe, as well as their relatives, Kari and Dawn Haecker, joined us for an interview to talk about the gesture, and about what it meant to the couples involved.