Pride Week 2012: Same-Sex Couples Marry In NYS For First Time
Updated: 06/22/2012 11:00 PM
By: Jeanine Ramirez
History was made when New York legalized same-sex marriage in 2011. NY1 continues its Pride Week series by bringing the stories of two couples who were recently married. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
Vincent Hale and John Wanagas have already shared much of the joys and sorrows of life. They've been together for the last 53 years. This week, they took their commitment to a whole new level: they got married.
The newlyweds have no immediate plans for a honeymoon. The pair, now in their 70s, have traveled together plenty over the last five decades. They met in 1959 working for the same company.
"We had a lot of common interests," Wanagas said. "We liked to read. We both liked books. We liked theater. We liked music."
Their relationship flourished. They filed for a domestic partnership years ago but wanted more.
"Domestic partnership just covered so much," Hale said. "This covered it all. We are completely legal in everything we do."
Friends and neighbors joined them for the ceremony but not Hale's sisters who don't approve of the union.
"My sisters didn't appreciate that much but what are you going to do?" HAle said.
Newlyweds Nicole Dennis and Emma Benn are still basking in the joy of their May wedding, although both of their mothers didn't show up.
The couple got married in New York, followed by a ceremony in Jamaica. But planning a same sex marriage on the island wasn't easy.
"One of the major hotels said 'You can do it but you can do it inside,'" Benn said. "That was really frustrating. For me, I think it was kind of tough to keep calling places and (have them) be like 'no.'"
They finally found a place for their private ceremony but afterwards, it was leaked to the national paper, making headlines. Dennis, who's a writer, decided to set the record straight with her own story, which the paper published.
"I wanted them to see a human side of our relationship, as opposed to classifying us as hedons," she said.
"At the end of the day, it's still like any other marriage," Benn said "It's two people coming together and just doing something because they love each other."
That's exactly what they did.
Back to list