Couple: David C. & Gerard C.
Married At: Ontario, Canada
Date Married: October 30th, 2003
Where They Live: New York, New York
Our Wedding Story:
As I said at our wedding with a small group of friends and family present, October 30th 2003, our 16th anniversary, was the culmination of over a decade of small wishes for me. Given a chance to make a wish, whether blowing out candles or spotting a shooting star, I almost always wished that David and I could be legally married.
We met in 1987 through a gay dating service called Manmate, and since then have become best friends, domestic partners, soul mates, and now husbands.
The summer of 2003 was an immensely exciting summer for our community beginning with the Canadian ruling in June followed by the Lawrence v. Texas ruling which overturned U.S. sodomy laws. We quickly decided we wanted to be married on our next anniversary. Since we were still hoping that the Massachusetts Court would rule by October, we sent out "Save the Date" announcements explaining that we would be married in either Toronto or Massachusetts. We actually began making plans for both possibilities until September, when we realized we needed to finalize our plans.
As if planning 2 weddings, a reception, and a honeymoon was not enough, we also spent much of the summer shopping and purchasing fixtures and material to renovate our bathroom--oh, and did I mention we also had a trip to the Czech Republic planned for August?
Somehow it all came together with the help of our dear friend, Ken Page, who functioned as our "Nuptial Facilitator" in helping us customize our City Hall ceremony despite the fact that we didn't know until a day before who would actually officiate. George McConnachie, a clergyman with the Wedding Chapel served as our officiant, and contributed what only he could bring by sharing a short account of the day the Ontario court decision was handed down and same-sex couples were allowed to marry.
David's mother, Judith, and brother, Peter, were our official witnesses but 6 other friends, 4 of them Canadians, witnessed the special event as did Walter Psotka, a local wedding photographer.
Our friends Roberto and Richard offered their apartment for the small reception which followed. The next day we flew back to New York where the following day we had our official wedding reception. Jeno Steiner of Mansions Catering did a wonderful job of making it a day to remember for all in attendance as did DJ Nancy of Supersound.
Afterwords, we come home to a phone message that our wedding announcement had been selected to appear in the New York Times! It ran with the above photo, taken by our friend Justine Pippitt-Zagolin.
We honeymooned in Paris--but it was partially a working honeymoon for David. I enjoyed seeing the sights with other partners of his co-workers. David is a member of the GLBT employee task force for his company.
Now as we approach our 1st/17th anniversary, we are saddened that we still do not enjoy the legal protections opposite-sex couples enjoy. We are heartened, however, that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has stated that it is his legal opinion that same-sex marriages contracted elsewhere, like Canada and Massachusetts, should be recognized by New York. This has yet to be tested, however.
We couldn't feel anymore in love today than we did before, but we are pleased we could play a small part in history as we continue the struggle for full equality for ALL Americans: Gay, Non-gay, Transgendered, Male, Female, Married, Unmarried, Upper Class, Working Class, Employed, Unemployed, Young, Senior, Abled, Disabled, White, Black, Asian, Native, Latino, Religious, and Non-religious.
I always like to mention that Katharine Lee Bates, the author of "America the Beautiful," was a great American who loved, honored, and cherished another woman for over a quarter century; yet, she and her life partner never enjoyed the legal protections non-gay couples can take for granted. Time is on our side--we shall overcome!