Bill Novak and Norman MacArthur have been partners for 50 years but spouses for only one week.
For the last 15 years, the newlyweds (who wed last Sunday) were “father” and “son.” Yes, you read that right.
Bill, 76 (left) and Norman, 74 (right) fell in love in their 20s. In 1994, they registered as domestic partners in New York City. In the early 2000s, they retired and moved to Pennsylvania, but their domestic partnership wasn’t legally recognized in the state.
The only way to have a legally recognized relationship (which included rights that many take for granted like hospital visits and estate arrangements), they had to adopt each other. So Bill, who is two years older, became Norman’s “father.” It seemed odd to “son” Norman at first, but it was their only choice at the time.
“It struck me as fairly unusual, but we looked into it and discovered that other couples had done it. [Without the adoption] we would be legally strangers … It would allow us visitation rights in a hospital, and gaining of knowledge if one of us was in the hospital.”
When the ban on same-sex marriage was deemed unconstitutional last year, Bill and Norman were elated and wanted to get married. Problem was, they were still legally father and son.
So earlier this month, Bill and Norman went before a judge and pleaded that the adoption be vacated (essentially nulled). The judge happily agreed, and the entire courtroom — which was filled with their friends — burst into applause and cheers. Ten days later, “father” and “son” became husband and husband.
Norman still can’t believe they’re married:
“I feel incredibly happy. It’s the only way I can describe it ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ just enormously happy. It was very much worth the wait.”
We’re sad it took so long, but just as happy that they can spend the rest of their lives as a married couple!
[Image via AP Images.]