Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage. Show all posts

February 28, 2018

GA. Would Rather Get Rid of Marriage Than Obey The Law of The Land

Georgians Fight Fellow Georgians on Gay Marriage
Politicians in Georgia would rather get rid of Marriage than accept the Law of the Land and marry gay and lesbians

Couples – gay or straight — looking for a marriage license in Pike County, Ala. won't get one from local probate judge Wes Allen.

"We have not issued any marriage licenses since Feb. 9, 2015," Allen says.

That's when a federal judge struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage. The state's then-Chief Justice Roy Moore told local officials they weren't bound by the federal court ruling. That threw Alabama's marriage license system into chaos. Some offices closed altogether.

For Allen, the decision came down to his religious beliefs.

"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman and firmly believe that biblical world view," he says. "And I couldn't put my signature on a marriage license that I knew not to be marriage."

As many as 12 other judges adopted similar policies after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Some, like Allen, closed their marriage license division. Others will sign the license but quit performing marriage ceremonies.

Now Alabama and several other states are considering doing away with marriage licenses altogether. Alabama's legislation comes after the state became a flashpoint in the debate over same-sex marriage.

After counties began refusing licenses, they braced for lawsuits. But no one has sued — that could be because Alabama's marriage law says probate judges may issue marriage licenses, not shall.

"Alabama's been one of the toughest states when it comes to access to marriage equality because of our marriage code and because the way it's written for judges to choose to issue licenses or not," says Eva Kendrick, state director for the Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for LGBT rights.

She says access depends on where you live. Metropolitan areas like Birmingham and Montgomery are open for business, but remote rural areas are more of a patchwork, forcing people to travel elsewhere to get a license.

"In those counties, Alabamians did not have equal access to marriage," says Kendrick.

The state Senate has overwhelmingly approved a bill that would get rid of marriage licenses altogether. Instead, couples would submit a form affirming they've met the legal requirements for getting married and then record a marriage contract at the probate office.

"Basically we're getting Alabama out of the marriage business," says Republican Rep. Paul Beckman, who is sponsoring the bill in the Alabama House, where it has passed the Judiciary Committee.

Republican state Sen. Greg Albritton has tried for several years to change the system to a marriage contract.

"It allows the probate judge to not be the gatekeeper by order of the state of say who can marry and who can't," Albritton says.

Albritton says he's a traditionalist who believes marriage should be between one man and one woman. But he says since the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, Alabama's system hasn't worked.

"I disagree with that opinion. However, they make the law," says Albritton. "I'm trying to accommodate that and trying to find a way that we can accommodate as many people and hurt no one."

But not everyone agrees that the legislation does no harm.

"I just think it cheapens the value of the most sacred relationship in the world," says Republican Phil Williams, the lone senator to vote against the bill.

"When you take marriage and you reduce it to a mere contract, it's almost like you're just doing nothing more than recording the deed to your property at the courthouse," he says. "You're just taking the contract down there and the probate judge is just the clerk."

He says probate judges have greater responsibility, for instance, they're charged with making sure that couples are old enough and able to consent to marriage.

The bill is facing more opposition in the Alabama House. Democratic state Rep. Merika Coleman says the change isn't necessary if public officials would just do their jobs.

"It's unfortunate because there are some probate judges .... that do not want to adhere to the rule of law," says Coleman. "So because of that, now some legislators in the state of Alabama want to get out of the business of marriage in the traditional sense."

She's concerned the new system might not be recognized by other states or the federal government.

"Specifically on Social Security and with military benefits they ask for a marriage license," she says. "They do not ask for a marriage contract."

But the concept of a marriage contract is being considered in other states. Similar legislation has been proposed in Oklahoma, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Montana.

June 27, 2015

No more Marriage bans across the Nation No Gay Marriage just Marriage

This publication will stop referring to gay or same sex marriage, instead it will be just Marriage.

Same-sex couples won the right to marry nationwide Friday as a divided Supreme Court handed a crowning victory to the gay rights movement, setting off a jubilant cascade of long-delayed weddings in states where they had been forbidden.

"No longer may this liberty be denied," said Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The vote was narrow — 5-4 — but Kennedy's majority opinion was clear and firm: "The court now holds that same-sex couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry."

The ruling will put an end to same-sex marriage bans in the 14 states that still maintain them, and provide an exclamation point for breathtaking changes in the nation's social norms in recent years. As recently as last October, just over one-third of the states permitted gay marriages.
Kennedy's reading of the ruling elicited tears in the courtroom, euphoria outside and the immediate issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples in at least eight states. In Dallas, Kenneth Denson said he and Gabriel Mendez had been legally married in 2013 in California but "we're Texans; we want to get married in Texas."

In praise of the decision, President Barack Obama called it "justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."

Four of the court's justices weren't cheering. The dissenters accused their colleagues of usurping power that belongs to the states and to voters, and short-circuiting a national debate about same-sex marriage.

"This court is not a legislature. Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent. Roberts read a summary of his dissent from the bench, the first time he has done so in nearly 10 years as chief justice.

"If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today's decision," Roberts said. "But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it."

Justice Antonin Scalia said he was not concerned so much about same-sex marriage as "this court's threat to American democracy." He termed the decision a "judicial putsch." Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented.

Several religious organizations criticized the decision.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said it was "profoundly immoral and unjust for the government to declare that two people of the same sex can constitute a marriage."

Kennedy said nothing in the court's ruling would force religions to condone, much less perform, weddings to which they object. And he said the couples seeking the right to marry should not have to wait for the political branches of government to act.

 Obama on same-sex marriage: 'Ruling will strengthen our communities'
"When Americans are all treated as equal, we are more free," President Barack Obama declared  in a speech given at the White House after the Supreme Court extended gay marriage nationwide. 
The 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires states to allow same-sex couples to marry on the same basis as heterosexuals, he said

"The dynamic of our constitutional system is that individuals need not await legislative action before asserting a fundamental right. The nation's courts are open to injured individuals who come to them to vindicate their own direct, personal stake in our basic charter," Kennedy wrote in his fourth major opinion in support of gay rights since 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.

"No union is more profound than marriage," Kennedy wrote, joined by the court's four more liberal justices.

The stories of the people asking for the right to marry "reveal that they seek not to denigrate marriage but rather to live their lives, or honor their spouses' memory, joined by its bond," Kennedy said.
As he read his opinion, spectators in the courtroom wiped away tears when the import of the decision became clear. One of those in the audience was James Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court fight.

Outside, Obergefell held up a photo of his late spouse, John Arthur, and said the ruling establishes that "our love is equal." He added, "This is for you, John."

Obama placed a congratulatory phone call to Obergefell, which he took amid a throng of reporters outside the courthouse.

Speaking a few minutes later at the White House, Obama praised the decision as an affirmation of the principle that "all Americans are created equal."

The crowd in front of the courthouse at the top of Capitol Hill grew in the minutes following the ruling. The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C., sang the "Star-Spangled Banner." Motorists honked their horns in support as they passed by the crowd, which included a smattering of same-sex marriage opponents.
Most Illinois pols praise Supreme Court’s ruling making gay marriage legal

The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But county clerks in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas began issuing licenses to same-sex couples within hours of the decision.

The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders, and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.

Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor formed the majority with Kennedy on Friday, the same lineup as two years ago.

The earlier decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA's Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.

The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department's decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights, and Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.

The states affected by Friday's ruling are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, most of Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas.

Associated Press


June 16, 2014

TV tops in cheapening marriage and what is marriage being defended from?

                                                              love and marriage tv

On July 8, the new FYI cable channel will air the first episode of "Married at First Sight," a show that connects six people with strangers and dares them to forever entangle their social, emotional and financial well-being, for better or worse, in sickness and health, on camera and off.
"Married at First Sight," reads the official description, "is an extreme social experiment following six brave souls who are yearning for a life-long partnership as they agree to a provocative proposal: getting legally married the moment they first meet. ... The couples will never meet or know each other until they walk down the aisle and see each other face-to-face, for the first time, when they get married." It debuts July 8.
I love this idea. Not because it will lead to three beautiful, blissful unions. It won't, obviously. But because it forces us to reckon with, once again, our complete and utter hypocrisy about marriage.
The Defense of Marriage Act, first enacted in 1996, is still the law of the land.
It purports to defend the institution of marriage from forces that threaten to cheapen it or steer it away from its unique and holy purpose.
Forces like "Married at First Sight?" ABC's "The Bachelor" and its equally dysfunctional twin sister, "The Bachelorette"? Fox's "I Wanna Marry Harry?"
No. Forces like two consenting, in-love, committed adults who would legitimately like a shot at spending their lives together. Except they're gay. So, you know ... there goes the marriage neighborhood.
"We heterosexuals have been heroic in our ability to cheapen the institution," says marriage researcher Eli Finkel, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University.
And positively rabid in our misguided "defense" of it.
DOMA lets states refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted by other states, thereby denying an enormous number of legal and financial protections to legally married couples. The United States Supreme Court struck down one section last summer, but the rest of the law still stands.
That means legally married same-sex couples (or their widows/widowers) who move to a state that doesn't recognize gay marriage don't have access to federal marital protections.
Guess who does? The jokers who get married at first sight on a reality show. Are we serious with this?
"There are a whole lot of cultural and historical variations in how we execute marriage and how marriage functions," Finkel says. "It begins with polygamy in the Bible and involves wide variations in who makes marital decisions. Are they made by parents? Village elders? The individuals who want to marry?
"This idea that marriage has an inherent structure for how it's supposed to work is contradicted by every cultural and historical analysis of marriage ever conducted."
"Married at First Sight?" Bring it on.
Remind me, yet again, that marriage is an institution strong enough to withstand some pretty major nonsense.
Give me one more example of how someone else's union _ someone I don't know and will likely never cross paths with _ has absolutely no bearing on the success or failure of mine.
Train the cameras one more time on some "brave souls" who yearn for a "life-long partnership." Give them all the legal and financial help they could ever want to make that happen. Brand it an "extreme social experiment."
And then explain to me what exactly we're defending marriage against.

April 24, 2014

Matt Boomer is Been Married to Long Time Partner with Since 2011

Matt Bomer enjoys family time with boyfriend Simon Halls and three ...Way to keep a secret! Matt Bomer is married to his longtime partner and has been since 2011. 
The "White Collar" star, who will next appear in the HBO film "The Normal Heart," let the nuptial news go wide via a feature in Details magazine's May issue.
It turns out that Bomer, who quietly came out in 2012, wed longtime partner Simon Halls, a Hollywood publicist, in 2011. The actor has previously spoken about Halls and their three sons, after telling Elle in 2010, "My favorite actors are people who I don't know anything about, and I can project any character onto them. They focus on their work and then go live their lives with the people they love."

The couple has reportedly been together for more than a decade.
Though the 36-year-old doesn't directly discuss his union, writer Howie Kahn frames the actor's involvement in "The Normal Heart" -- based on gay-rights activist Larry Kramer's 1985 play, which won three Tony Awards in a 2011 revival -- around the fact of the marriage.
"I wouldn't have a lot of the rights I have today if it wasn't for people like Larry," Bomer told the mag, and that's when the topic of marriage came up.

He'd advocated for same-sex marriage in a 2012 staged reading of the play "8" that also featured Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
In "Normal Heart," the "Magic Mike" cast member will play dying AIDS patient Felix Turner, a former reporter for the New York Times, and wanted to be in the film as a form of "reciprocal advocacy," Kahn writes.
When Bomer found out that "Glee" and "American Horror Story" co-creator Ryan Murphy was throwing around the idea in 2011, he said, he immediately lobbied for a meeting.

"I just wanted to be involved with the project in some capacity. I didn't care what my part was."
The film, which also stars Mark RuffaloJulia RobertsJonathan GroffTaylor Kitsch and Jim Parsons, premieres May 25 on the premium cable channel. 

February 24, 2014

UK Men Have Fallen in Love with Marriage

Finally, something to celebrate: divorce rates during the early years of marriage have plunged to their lowest level for more than 30 years. Young couples who tie the knot are surviving even the infamous seven-year itch.
What accounts for this welcome change? The new British groom. He is romantic and responsible, and only gets married because he really, really wants to.
I know this sounds counterintuitive, as the stereotype of the cold and clumsy British husband has enjoyed a long lifespan. I first came to Britain in 1979 to St Clare’s Hall, a sixth-form college in north Oxford where glamorous continental girls studied beside well-bred Sloanes. Both lots of girls vied for attention from the undergraduates down the road; but that didn’t stop them warning one another (and me) about husbands who preferred their labrador to their wife, and their club to their home. This Professor Higgins image clung to Britain’s males for years: superior, misogynist and self-obsessed, he could drive a girl to gin within a few months of marital hell.
Since then, the image of the British hubby has changed. Popular fiction is full of sympathetic, sentimental heroes. Richard Curtis has portrayed endless sweet, soppy men who yearn for love; Colin Firth in the Bridget Jones films showed that beneath Darcy’s diffidence beat a restless romantic heart; and the wildly popular novel One Day celebrated a love story that haunted the hero beyond his wife’s death. These fictional Britons believed in, and sometimes attained, “happily ever after”.
In real life, politicians too have helped change the world’s view of the British husband. Say what you will about Dave’s failure to get more women into Parliament, but he, Nick and Ed have proved laudably uxorious. They and their wives have turned Westminster into a couples’ haven to admire.
And, indeed, envy. Foreign women friends who once longed for a man in Brooks Brothers who spent money like the Great Gatsby now consider my English husband as much a must-have as the Samsung Galaxy S5. “Does he dote on you the way Nick Clegg does on his señora?” they ask. “Is he a hands-on Daddy like Dave the nappy-changer?” “Does he insist on holding on hands as you stroll down the beach, like Ed did with Justine?”
These men, the real as well as the unreal,  seem to enjoy, nay positively thrive in, their marriages. What was once a trap awaiting the unthinking man seems something close to Nirvana. It helps that no one is forced into it. More liberal mores mean that today’s lovelorn swain cannot be pushed by family and society to “do the right thing”. The shotgun wedding, except in certain ultra-orthodox religious households, is a thing of the past: cohabitation is commonplace, as is raising a child solo. Parents cannot claim that their daughter’s honour has been ruined, any more than that their son and heir must consider lineage when he takes a bride.
Today’s groom doesn’t need to contend with the first wave of feminists, either. Any graduate of a “women’s studies” course will remember learning that men were foes and marriage their patriarchal invention. If we foolishly fell for the enemy, he would choke the life force out of us. More than one generation of wives embraced this philosophy, and dumped their husband in order to find themselves in an Indian ashram or with a Greek tavern owner. Thankfully, this philosophy has gone the way of the Atkins diet: it was binned for leaving a bitter taste in the mouth, and sapping the joie de vivre of those who bought into it.
Today’s bride knows she is not a lamb to the slaughter. Her groom realises that he isn’t either. Maybe that’s why new marriages work.

November 23, 2013

Why do People Get Married?

 Why do people get married? According to newlywed Seth Adam Smith’s “Marriage isn’t for me” blog post, which received over 24 million page views in 4 days, marriage isn’t something you do to make yourself happy, but rather “you marry to make someone happy.”
Nearly half (48%) of Americans who are currently married or have been married in the past claim that they got married because they felt that their partner was their soul mate, and they wanted to live their life with them. Four out of ten Americans who had been married at least once also stated that one of the motivating factors for getting married was that they felt that their future husband or wife was their best friend. For 34% of Americans having life goals that were similar their partner’s was also a motivating factor for tying the knot.
When asked what the single, strongest, motivating factor was for getting married 39% of Americans agreed that they got married because they thought their partner was their soul mate.
For a majority of Americans the greatest pleasures in marriage are derived from shared experiences. 65% of Americans feel that having someone to share exciting, and wonder moments with is the greatest pleasure they get from marriage. Over half of Americans also believe that having somebody to share troubles and worries with (55%); and having somebody to build a family together are also great pleasures derived from marriage (52%).
Marriage isn’t always rainbows and butterflies for Americans, with only 35% stating that they have no disappointments in their marriage. The bad economy might be the root of disappointment for married individuals, with 27% stating that financial difficulty is a big source of disappointment in their marriage. Individuals who are currently married have the least amount of disappointment in their marriage with over 4 out 10 (41%) claiming that they haven’t had any disappointments in their marriage. 
Only a mere 3% of Americans who are currently divorced claim that they had no disappointments in their previous marriages. Among divorced individuals 48% felt that their biggest disappointment in their marriage had been finding out things about their spouse that they did not like.

Find the full results here

July 26, 2013

Oxford Dictionary Redefining Marriage

 The Oxford English Dictionary  is officially amending its definition of what constitutes ‘marriage.’

The linguistic and language experts in charge of amending the contents of the OED have officially confirmed that the definition of the word will be altered to reflect the inclusion of same sex couples, citing “a string of marriage equality victories around the world” as the reason for the change.
A spokeswoman from the Oxford University Press described the dictionary as “a living document” and further went on to comment that, as such, it can be amended to reflect new usages and meanings of words in accordance with societal, cultural and legal changes.
Her statement read, in part: “We continually monitor the words in our dictionaries, paying particular attention to those words whose usage is shifting, so, yes, this will happen with marriage.”
As it stands, the current OED definition of marriage states that it is “a formal union of a man and a woman, typically as recognised, by law, by which they become husband and wife.” 
  International News

September 25, 2012

Giving Pre-Marital Sex a Chance



We've all heard the schoolchildren's chant that goes, basically, "First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage," or some iteration thereof. Of course, in this day and age, that's not always the chronology at all, and sometimes whole bits are missing, sometimes there are whole new ones. Maybe there is a baby and no marriage, maybe there's no baby, maybe—and this would be the saddest option—there's no love. Jill Filipovic has an excellent piece in theGuardian today in which she explores "The moral case for sex before marriage." This seems to have been a long time coming, but no time is like the present as we remain a nation of people conflicted about things Puritanical and things Titillating. 
Filipovic writes that in America we "love to tout the value of waiting until marriage to have sex," and in that vein of thinking, there are the pro-abstinence programs frequently funded by state and federal money; there are also those who rail against discussions of anything but abstinence as a way of promoting sex in teens. But even as the abstinence talk would seem to be an obvious line for some evangelicals and staunch conservatives, "sex-positive liberals hesitate to say that having sex before marriage is an equally valid – if not better – choice for nearly everyone." 
Filipovic decides to be one of the first to say it, and so she does: "Having sex before marriage is the best choice for nearly everyone," backed up with several arguments. Pretty much everyone does it (even back in the old days); sex is more happiness-producing than is money; sex is good for your health; she explains—and those things hold true regardless of marriage. Further, the problem with waiting, she says, is that those who wait are usually those who marry early and have traditional views on marriage and gender. Those are also the people who tend to have higher divorce rates and unhappier marriages, she argues, citing the benefits of marrying later and having more gender-egalitarian marriages, with shared housework duties and a corresponding uptick in sex. Filipovic admits that not all sex is good, that unintended pregnancy and abortion rates are a problem, as are STDs (which can, of course, happen regardless of marriage). But her key point, I think, is here:
Instead of fooling ourselves into thinking that waiting until marriage makes sex "good", we should focus on how ethical, responsible sexual practices – taking precautions to protect the physical and mental health of yourself and your partner; having sex that is fully consensual and focused on mutual pleasure – are part of being an ethical, responsible human being.
Sexual morality isn't about how long you wait. It's about how you treat yourself and the people you're with.
Hear, hear.
There's another discussion underlying all this, though. Views of premarital sex have clearly changed, and Filipovic is right, we see it in movies, we read about it in books, most of us do it, with varying degrees of regularity and commitment. We're grown-up consenting adults, after all, free to live our lives. And culturally it's gotten to the point that there's even a bit of a reverse shaming at work: Despite what the abstinence promoters would say, "virginity" past a certain age is regarded with more confusion and possibly even concern than the opposite. The 40-Year-Old Virgin is perhaps the most obvious cinematic example, where that sexual status is a joke, even, and definitely a bit weird. 
So why has it taken so long to say what Filipovic does? It's not "couth"? We're afraid as women that we'll be branded with one of those Limbaugh-slung words, one of those scarlet letters, as something no longer desired as marriageable? At one point the attribute of "virgin" seemed one of the most important of all for a woman going into marriage. Vestiges of that likely remain, but other parts—the judgments or criticisms, particularly of sexually empowered women—may never have gone away.
Even with the progress evidenced in society with regard to gender equality and women's rights, we still have a ways to go. And the institution of marriage remains in some ways a last hold-out for those steps of progress (just look at gay marriage, which still is an option in fewer than 10 states). This doesn't mean marriage is outmoded, but a lot of the trappings certainly are. Many women who would never support abstinence in their long-term cohabiting, committed adult relationships are likely to wear a white dress while walking down the aisle, because it's tradition. And just as a grown-up couple might register as if they haven't been living together with the normal number of fully functional pots and pans prior to being wed (and requesting new ones as gifts), we act as though these old no longer relevant traditions and beliefs (to help set up a working household for a new couple who may not be able to afford it otherwise) still hold true and are a crucial part of the experience. If we'd all be upfront about what was what, you'd imagine that quite a lot of the tooth would be taken out of the real and imagined judgments. And maybe we'd do better at being happy, having successful relationships and marriages, loving each other.
Filipovic writes, "But our cultural view of premarital sex as morally tainted makes it harder for couples to engage in real talks about their sexual needs and desires before marrying, the same way they would talk about their religious values, how many kids they want or whether the wedding cake will be chocolate or vanilla."
Moral or not, it would be freeing to admit that if we're old enough and adult enough to get married, we're old and adult enough to admit to having had premarital sex. And that maybe that old form of "morality" is the least of our worries. 
Image via Shutterstock/alphaspirit.

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June 25, 2012

Brad Pitt and Angelina Finally Getting Married

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

 Angelina Jollie and Brad Pitt have finally decided to tie the knot. As reported by the Daily Star Newspaper. They are looking to have a ‘low key’ wedding ceremony. 
It was also reported that the ceremony is supposed to take place in Windsor.  The Honeymoon will be in the South of France, where else?lol. They are even reporting where the’ll be staying which would be at the very luxurious Chateau Miraval estate in Provence. 
They have always stated their wishes than when and if they got married, they would be having the official part in secret with just their kids. They have also said that they would not get married until gay marriage was official in the US. I guess they feel that things are well enough here. We know is not true but I don’t think we should hold them to that promise. They have been faithful friends of the gay community from way back. Besides when it comes to marriage, it happens when the love birds are ready wether anybody else is ready or not. 

They have been together for so long that marriage is not that important in this case.  However they do have kids and they are not getting any younger, so it’s right that they protect their assets and their kids by making their relationship official with the government.
I do wish them great happiness. 

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