For some background, here's a LINK to my diary of almost 9 years ago, "I'm Getting Married tomorrow, but it's not a happy day."
What struck me about the previous diary was this comment
I know there's no way my relationship will be recognized in my lifetime. So this seems like a logical course of action.How quickly things have changed on the marriage equality front in just the past couple of years. Follow me below for an update and what has to have been the most unique party ever thrown!
So thanks to my personal heroine, Edie Windsor, part of the Defense of Marriage act was thrown out and thanks to a progressive White House, I will now have access to health care benefits through my soon to be husband and parter for the past 30 years.
Last Thursday I, my wife, my partner and his wife (who is my wife's partner) went down to the Sumter FL county courthouse for our divorce hearing. I did stumble a bit when the magistrate asked the question, "how long have you been separated" but except for the magistrate's curiosity about 2 couples with almost identical answers to her questions, things went off without a hitch. We were a bit disappointed that we couldn't have breakfast at the "Odd Couple Cafe" because it was closed, which is where we had lunch after filing our divorce papers, but once we paid the state of Florida $400 each, we were free.
Yesterday we were joined by 70 or 80 friends and family to celebrate our "divorce and pending nuptials." It was a unique party, to say the least, but a marvelous experience to have such support from our friends and family.
We still live in the backwater state of Florida (our motto, "at least we're not Mississippi") so we can't get married here. Fortunately we've had all the legal documents in place for many years to protect our relationships as much as possible, but I have no doubt that in the very near future, our marriages will be recognized in Florida and throughout the nation.
Next week we head up to Delaware and, of course, we'll be having a double-wedding for both couples.(Thank you Delaware for only having a 1 day waiting period and to Sussex County for waiving the marriage fees for retired military!) Then it's off for new military ID cards and settling down as 30 year long newlyweds.
As I said 9 years ago, I never expected that I would see this day. We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who have fought these battles over the past years, getting us tantalizing close to full equality.
I know four people who are extremely grateful.