You know what happens when you find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with? What happens is that you want the ‘rest of your life’ to start right then.
Same-sex marriage in the U.S. state of New York became legal on July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, which was passed by the New York State Legislature on June 24, 2011 and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo on the same day. The Marriage Equality Act does not have a residency restriction, as some other states do, and allows religious organizations to decline to officiate same-sex wedding ceremonies.
As we planned to make our annual holiday trip to New York City this past year, we talked a little bit about the possibility of getting married. We did some internet research and thought it might be a real thing that might actually happen. Maybe. Never before had it even been in the realm of possibility. Still, we were skeptical. Some sources on the internet outlined the procedure(s), and some of them said that birth certificates and passports and lots of documentation was required. It seemed like a big maybe.
We arrived in New York City on Sunday, December 25. The offices were closed, of course, on Christmas day, and for the Christmas holiday on the December 26, so we showed up on Tuesday morning, December 27, to see what would happen. On that day we were able to fill out some more paper work and pick up our printed license application. We were then told to wait twenty-four hours and come back with a witness. They would be able to marry us there at the city clerk’s office. At that point it seemed like reality. It was not until then that we allowed ourselves to really and truly plan on getting married the next day.
We were married on December 28, 2011, in a small chapel at the New York City clerk’s office at 141 Worth, New York, New York. If things had been different, say if same sex marriage had been legal in Texas, there would have been a big, beautiful wedding years ago in San Antonio. Nieces and nephews would have been asked to be there and do readings. Talented friends would have offered to sing a favorite song or two. There would have been a great reception where we would have all danced to some of the best party music while a sweet, sentimental slide show was continuously playing in the background. Our hope is that someday in the not too distant future this will be a reality for other couples.