When my husband and I met a little over 27 years ago I had no idea what our future together might be like. Over the years we’ve shared so many life and family events together.
One major difference between my husband and myself is that I’m “the glass is half full” guy while he’s “the glass is half empty.” I’m more optimistic, and you guessed it, he’s the pessimist. So, when same sex marriage was in front of the Supreme Court in June 2015 I told him we were getting ready to see history be made. His reply “It will never happen in our lifetime.” There’s my pessimist. I told him not only would it happen but it would happen on June 26th because of that being the date DOMA was overturned. I just knew it was going to pass. Then, on June 26th the announcement was made! Same Sex marriage was now legal, the law of the land, throughout the United States! I hated to be the one that said “I told you so” but I just had to do it.
At this point we had been together for 25 years. 25 years of raising 2 girls, that’s a separate story, and dealing with all the ups and downs of being in a relationship. Because my husband had worked 35 years in the Texas Independent School District system and paid into Texas Teacher Retirement I was never able to be added to his medical insurance because marriage had to be legal in Texas before I could be covered.
We had had our wills, powers of attorney, DNI’s and all our legal documents done earlier in June since we had retired to Austin. Of course, me being the optimist, and the fact that we were paying $1,500 for the legal documents, I made sure that if marriage equality passed they would redo the paperwork to say husband/spouse instead of partner should it become law. The attorney agreed. So, 2 weeks later we were calling them to set up a time to redo signatures on a few forms so that all paperwork was in order for our daughters, in the case anything should ever happen to us. I was the executor of my parents estate 2 years earlier and had demanded they get all papers in order before I would sign on as executor. It was like pulling teeth with tweezers to get my parents to finally update all of their documents but I was so glad I had pushed them to do it.
Of course here is the part I had been waiting for. Austin had announced on the evening news on June 26th that they would be having a mass wedding on the steps of the Texas Capitol that weekend, ministers provided. All you needed to do was go to the county clerk’s office and pick up your wedding license. I played it coy, I knew what was coming and was prepared for it. “So, are you going to ask me?” my husband says. “Ask what?” I replied. “You know what.” SERIOUSLY!! SERIOUSLY!! I was the one that had told him marriage equality would pass and given him the exact date and now he was waiting for me to ask. I don’t think he was quite prepared when I said “After 25 years, all the ups and downs, good and bad’s, dealing with in-laws, daughters dramatic emotional tear filled breakups with numerous boyfriends, the delivery of 2 granddaughters from our oldest daughter, the process of dealing with the passing of my elderly parents and still having my husband’s parents to deal with in the future and he says to me again “So, are you going to ask me?” I just looked him in the eye and said “If you have to ask then we’ve got a problem.”
Needless to say, the next day we went to the county clerks office in Austin and picked up our wedding license and scheduled our appointment with the Justice of the Peace at the Travis county courthouse. We had our youngest daughter in attendance with her current boyfriend, their best friend who held our iPhone on FaceTime while our oldest daughter in Augusta watched from work. We had a wonderful judge who actually sat and talked with us for 30 minutes before the ceremony. I was shocked when we walked into his office because there sat a 70 year old, grey haired, bearded, pot bellied, good old boy judge. What could go wrong? He was the nicest, warm, Democrat (Praise the Lord) Justice of the Peace. 30 minutes later we were married, our daughters were in tears and what we had waited for 25 years had come to pass.
Of course my husband was on the phone the next day to the Texas Teacher Retirement System seeing if they were going to allow adding same sex spouses to health insurance plans. The answer was yes!
At last, now we could file our Federal Income Tax together, both be on the same medical insurance and continue the life that we had lived the past 25 years that was identical to your average heterosexual marriage. The same ups and downs, the same financial stresses, the same good and bad, the same in-law issues and never ending daughter drama. Everything was exactly the same, but, now we were married! Happy Second Anniversary Husband, Love Your Husband!