These couples all understand why marriage equality matters
“I never imagined in a million years that I would be on a stage kissing my male partner, spouse -- husband, Thomas is saying -- in front of my father,” Abner said during the ceremony. “And to be able to do that and have not just my father but my whole family be proud of me? That’s something special.”
Both Episcopalian priests, the coupler were married at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston by Bishop M. Thomas Shaw on New Year’s Day 2010.
Tom Ford was a shy 25-year-old when he met magazine editor Richard Buckley. It took him the length of an elevator ride to decide he wanted to marry him. Read more here.
"You know the movie where Deborah Kerr runs across the street to meet Cary Grant and gets hit by a taxi and is paralyzed," Bratcher explains. "That's why I told him, 'If I'm not there, come after me.' I'd been the one who had wanted to take more time, but when I wrote that note to him, I thought, What are you doing? He's the one." Read more here.
“Just by being ourselves and being visible without taking any sort of stance publicly is a much better form of activism for us than to position ourselves as America’s gay couple,” says Kilmer-Purcell, who believes it’s time to rethink our perception of the American heartland as a bastion of prejudice. “Of course homophobia exists, but there’s another side -- we were just in Nebraska [as headliners at the Omaha Home & Garden Expo], and the number 1 question we got asked was, ‘When are you getting married?’ ” Read more here.
"Chad's proposal is a fond memory for me," Droste says. "It was the end of my tour in Australia and New Zealand. We'd gotten tickets with frequent flyer miles, but we couldn't get a direct flight back to America, so we had to go through French Polynesia... There was this moment where the sun literally came out for like 20 minutes and he took the opportunity to go for the ring. It was a huge surprise. But we had felt each other out over the years, so we knew we were ready." Read more here.
"I’d also like to call David my husband," Neil Patrick Harris explains. "I’m not the biggest fan of the word 'partner': It either means that we run a business together or we’re cowboys. 'Boyfriend' seems fleeting, like maybe we met two weeks ago. I’ve been saying 'better half' for as long as I’ve been able to. I think it’s a little self-deprecating and clearly defines that we’re in a relationship, but it would be nice to say 'my husband.'” Read more here.
"We decided to move and left for Georgia, but we came back in April 2011 after civil unions were made legal in Illinois," Chwanda Nixon explains. "We had a big ceremony. We danced to Beyoncé’s 'Love on Top' as our song. It was a nice turnout, a mixture of close friends and family."
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"After the first year we were together," Mehretu says, "I knew Jessica was the person I wanted to be with." Read more about their relationship and family here.
Their lavish wedding -- Audra McDonald stopped by to sing a song from Porgy & Bess -- is cited as having helped soften Quinn's legendarily tough image, especially after the couple’s emotional pleas to state lawmakers to act soon enough that they could marry while their fathers were still alive. (They did; both women were escorted down the aisle by their dads.) Catullo’s father even called Quinn “a great catch.” Read more here.
Now that Barney Frank has relinquished his long-held seat in Congress, his second career as a retired house husband, to Jim Ready, begins. If only the two could learn to sit still. Read more here.
"I derive a lot of animal comfort from being with Jim," Blier explains. "I like being near him. There’s just this great sense of home with him. It’s the kind of thing that no one can match-make for you, because it’s so deep. But now, after being married, when I hold Jimmy, I have this feeling of, This is my husband, not just some guy I have slept with for 15 years." Read more here.
One of the most important lessons we’ve learned is how liberating it is to be our authentic selves," Hepner explains. "We’re married, and wherever we go in a military setting, Tammy introduces me as her wife. There is no question of our level of commitment to one another." Read more here.
We were lying on my couch in Richmond when she asked me if I wanted to get married. It was another one of those moments where my heart was hammering in my chest," McLeod said. "And I was like, “Yeah, let’s do it.” From there it became a discussion between the two of us. I feel like our lives are a joint decision. Read more here.
"Before we moved in together, he told me, 'We will not move in together before you are completely out to your family,' which is the one ultimatum he’s ever given me," Cook says. "So I came out to my family, and nothing changed. They treat him as my husband now, and part of the family." Read more here.
When Umali cautiously inquired about being married at his base, he got another surprise. “They said that no one had ever asked about doing that, but one thing led to another,” he says. “They had to approve it all the way to the Pentagon.” Their experience suggests that institutions may adapt to change more quickly than families. At their wedding, the military chaplain defied his own Southern Baptist background to bless their union, and Umali’s military colleagues mingled with their friends and relatives as if DADT had never existed. Read more here.
We got married because we could. It’s not sexy," Redwood explained. "City Hall’s like the DMV -- we stood in line with a lot of Eastern Europeans. A lot of the impetus for doing it was because, if we weren’t married, then we’d have to go through two rounds of adoption. I would be Declan’s father, and then Denis would have to adopt him. This way, it’s neat and clean. Now I’m a married man with child." Read more here.
"If we get married, it’s for the legal reasons. I don’t feel a need for it emotionally," Bill T. Jones said in 2012. "I love him with all of my heart. Marriage is a public acknowledgment. And doing this is more a part of that. So, in a way, in this article, I guess we’re saying, 'I do thee wed -- in the public imagination.'” Read more here.
"We'd be happy to use a different word, say, 'artichoke,'" Dan Bucatinsky wrote, "as long as the government offered all of the same rights, privileges and protection to all couples who were—'artichoked.'"
For the 'Good Morning America' weather anchor and his artist fiance, New Year’s Eve marks a double celebration. "We started to say the words 'wedding' or 'marriage' after about six months," Robierb says. "Exactly a year after we met [on New Year's Eve,] I got down on my knees, nervous as hell, and asked him, 'Will you marry me?'” Read more here.