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article imageTexas gay couple get married through Skype

By Lynn Curwin     Nov 26, 2010 in Lifestyle
Dallas - Mark Reed-Walkup and and Dante Walkup, of Texas, are the first same-sex couple in the U.S. to use Skype to become legally married.
The men, who have been together for more than 10 years wanted to get married, but same-sex marriages are not performed or recognized in Texas.
They wanted their wedding to take place in their home town of Dallas, so they did some research and found that they could be married by an officiant in Washington, D.C., via Skype.
“We travelled to the District of Columbia in May and went to the marriage bureau and got our licence,” said Reed-Walkup, 51, told the Toronto Star.
“We asked the clerk: ‘Did the law state we had to specifically be there?’ He asked his supervisor and he came back and said it does not. That’s what we were waiting to hear, so we began planning the Skype wedding.”
He and Walkup, who is 50, were at the W Hotel in Dallas, with 80 friends and family members, while the officiant performing the wedding was standing by at the W Hotel in Washington, D.C. on October 10. Cameras allowed them to see one another.
Reed-Walkup said a lot of tears were shed during the 45-minute ceremony, which was followed be a reception at a friend’s condominium – complete with rainbow wedding cake.
Reed-Walkup said that although Texas does not recognize the marriage, other states, Canada and many European countries do.
“We wanted to get married in Texas and share it with our family and friends,” he said. “And there are intangible benefits, a connection and an emotional bond that we felt after we were officially married that we didn’t expect.
“It’s hard to explain, but it’s a stronger emotional commitment when you have that marriage certificate. That little piece of paper means a lot.”
The men feel the online option could also work well for people who are separated by geographical distance.
“Marriage is about commitment and responsibility and taking care of the one you love,” added Reed-Walkup. “Marriage should be for all people, not just some people. We’re hoping our story will change hearts and minds in America.”
The couple has also filed a discrimination complaint against The Dallas Morning News for refusing to publish their wedding announcement.
Dallas Voice reported that the newspaper has refused because of a policy that says same-sex wedding announcements can only be published in a separate section called “Commitments” because same-sex marriage is not legally recognized by the state.
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