Paul Harris has spent the past 15 years issuing marriage licences in Vancouver, Washington, but throughout it all has been deprived of the right to marry his partner of four decades.
Until Thursday, when Harris finally got to sit on the other side of the counter as Washington issued its first marriage licences to gay couples after the move was approved by a popular referendum last month.
“On the way to work I was thinking of all that’s happened over our lives together,” Harris said of the 40 years he has spent with his partner and soon-to-be husband, James Griener. “The resignation of a president (Richard Nixon), landing a man on the moon, 9/11, the election of our first African American president. You know, we have been together for a lot of time. But to be able to get a marriage licence seems surreal.
“When I finally sat down on the other side of the counter for a change and had one of the staff issue a marriage license it just hit me that this is real. My emotions took over at that point and I couldn’t hold back the tears. I call it man tears.”
– Read the entire article at The Guardian.