Celebrating 4th Anniversary Of Marriage Equality Across The U.S.

by Randy Slovacek

Four years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic ruling, Obergefell v. Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal across the entire United States.

But, before that landmark ruling occurred, I’d been married to my husband, Michael, for almost 12 years. Depending on where we were and what year it was, the world may or may not have seen us as married.

It was on October 17, 1994, I met Michael for the first time.

I was on the road with the pre-Broadway tour of the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! and we were in Minneapolis recording our cast recording. Michael, in his early 20s, was VP of Publicity and Marketing for the record label. 

“It only takes a moment, for your eyes to meet and then…”

It was one long day of me watching Michael from across the studio, and as I found out later, Michael kept his eye on me, too.  And boy, am I glad.

In Toronto right after our first marriage ceremony (Michael on the left)

Twenty-five years, two marriage certificates (one in Toronto, Canada, one in Palm Springs, CA), one cancer journey and six dogs later – here we are.

We were first married in Toronto, Canada, in 2003 right after the laws were changed. By then, I was touring with the national tour of Chicago the Musical and we were scheduled for a month in Toronto.

Ironically, we were married by Senior Justice Lauren Marshall. Being ‘Senior Justice,’ she had the choice of courtrooms, and it turned out hers was where the movie of Chicago the Musical had been filmed.

Even though it wouldn’t be recognized back home, I was happy to know we’d exchanged our vows in a legal setting.

Then, in 2008, right before Prop 8 was poised to pass in California which would reverse newly-installed marriage equality, we got married a second time – this time in Palm Springs, because we wanted an American marriage license. We were living in Nevada by then, and it wouldn’t be legal in the Silver state, but we wanted it just the same.

Both ceremonies were surprisingly emotional given how long we’d been together.

It wasn’t until October 2014 that our marriage was recognized here in Las Vegas, thanks to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturning a state constitutional amendment banning recognition.

And, of course, shortly after that, on June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court took care of things for the entire country.

Folks have often asked us what makes our marriage work. And, I think a big part of the equation is we are two very different people. 

Michael is very social and loves being out in the world; he loves seeing the world and meeting lots of people, and people love him back.

I love our friends, but in small doses where I can focus on them and their lives one at a time. My favorite place to be is home with the dogs and Michael in our own little world.

Michael has also endured my emotional roller coaster ride with politics over the years, although with the current occupant of the Oval Office, he’s often more passionate than me.  

I love being married to Michael. I love our life together.

Our second ceremony, this time in Palm Springs

While I have your attention – some facts about marriage equality.

Currently, 30 countries have legalized same-sex marriage.

The first to legally embrace marriage equality was The Netherlands on September 12, 2000. On April 1, 2001, the day the law went into effect, the world watched as four same-sex couples exchanged marriage vows in a ceremony officiated by the mayor of Amsterdam.

In July 2010, Argentina led the way in South America after several cities including Buenos Aires had allowed gays and lesbians to enter into civil unions.

While Denmark made marriage equality legal in 2102, it’s worth noting they were the first country in the world to legally recognize same-sex couples (as domestic partners).Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage via popular vote in 2015. Until then, other countries came to marriage equality via court ruling or legislation.

Last month, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize marriage equality.

And on June 12, Ecuador became the most recent addition to countries embrace same-sex marriage.

Who knows which country will be next? Click here for lots of info about marriage equality around the world.

Wishing everyone an awesome Pride Month!

Last photo – this truly is us (photo: John Ganun)

 

Previous posts from theOUTfront series, “Generations of Pride”

The Pride Flag, Our Community recognized around the World 

WATCH: “Personally Speaking,” Growing up Gay with a Speech Impairment 

Matthew Shepard – a Saint for our times 

Paying Tribute to Our Community’s Courageous Plaintiffs for Equality

Removing the Mask

Celebrating STONEWALL 50 with Generations of Pride 

Be part of STONEWALL 50 wherever you are by telling your story of Pride on social media using

#GenerationsOfPride

Randy Slovacek

The Randy Report covers the daily news cycle in terms of politics, pop culture and entertainment news of interest to the LGBTQ community.

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