Wilson-Welihindha marriage papers
This collection contains materials related to the marriage of Ryan Wilson and Shehan Welihindha, which was one of the first same-sex marriages to take place in the State of Maryland on January 1, 2013.
- Welihindha, Shehan Vasanta (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Conditions Governing Use
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Biographical / Historical
On January 1, 2013, Maryland became the first state south of the Mason-Dixon line to legalize same-sex marriage. The Civil Marriage Protection Act, allowing same-sex couples to marry, was approved by voters in a referendum on November 6, 2012 and took effect on New Year's Day of 2013.
Ryan Wilson (b.1983) was raised in Fallston, Harford County, Maryland. In 2009 he proposed to his partner Shehan Welihindha (b.1981) when they were living in Columbia, South Carolina. Wilson was the executive director of South Carolina Equality and Welihindha was studying for a Ph.D. in public health at the University of South Carolina. However, the two could not legally marry in that state because in 2006 South Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment banning nuptials between same-sex couples. Upon learning of the passing of the Civil Marriage Protection Act in Maryland, they decided to travel to Wilson's home state in order to wed. On January 1, 2013 at 1:20 a.m., Wilson and Welihindha were married at Baltimore City Hall in front of friends, family, and the media. In total, seven same-sex couples got married at Baltimore City Hall on January 1st.
0.2 Linear Feet (1/2 Hollinger box)
Language of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Ryan Wilson, November 2019. Accession # 2019-036-LIB.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains materials related to the marriage of Ryan Wilson and Shehan Welihindha, which was one of the first same-sex marriages to take place in the State of Maryland on January 1, 2013. Items include the original City of Baltimore Certificate of Marriage for the couple as well as a Certificate of Recognition signed by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. The collection also contains a photograph album featuring images of Wilson and Welihindha at the Baltimore City Hall ceremony; newspaper clippings documenting the couple's marriage; and mixed materials such as hotel reservations, parking directions to City Hall, a list with the names of the officiants and the six other same-sex couples getting married that day, and receipts for the marriage license.
- Guide to the Wilson-Welihindha marriage papers
- Sandra Glascock
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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