Jack Evans and George Harris met in Dallas Texas back in 1961, and have been together ever since.
It boggles the mind, but for their first four decades together, George and Jack’s devoted union was considered criminal by their home state. It wasn’t until 2003 that the Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence V Texas that the Texas law criminalizing sodomy was unconstitutional, and made law abiding citizens of the outlaw septuagenarians.
They never dreamed they would be able to marry.
“Not in a million years.” George told WFAA News.
“Four years ago, it was something that was not fathomable at all,” Jack added. “There was no hint that this could come about.”
Now, after 53 years, George, who is 80, and Jack, who is 84, decided to have a proper wedding.
Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriages. The judge immediately stayed his decision, but George and Jack decided to tie the knot anyway. Fifty-three years of waiting is long enough.
But even in 2014, the going wasn’t easy. The men wanted to marry at Dallas’ North Haven Methodist Church where they have both been members for years, but the Methodists are engaged in an internal battle over marriage equality, and their own church said no. Same-sex marriages are not allowed.
So Jack and George decided to lend their wedding to the Methodist campaign for marriage equality.
“You often wonder what you are doing here… what’s your purpose? And we talked about that for a long time, and maybe this is it,” George mused.
Midway Hills Christian Church in Dallas welcomed the couple, agreeing to host the first same-sex wedding in Dallas presided over by a Methodist minister. Rev. Bill McElvaney, who will retire soon, preformed the ceremony despite the threat of being “defrocked” like Frank Schaefer was last year when he officiated at his gay son’s wedding.
“It means the world to me to be in this historic event.” said Fran McElvaney, wife of Rev. McElvaney. “I have waited for this day to come.”
Houston’s KHOU News reported several other Methodist clergy attended to show support.
Midway Hills posted these photos of the happy event on their Facebook page:
This is what love looks like. We send Jack and George our congratulations – and the hope Texas will recognize your union soon.
Feature photo screenshot from KHOU News
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