Charlottesville Same Sex Couple Married on 31st Anniversary - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville Same Sex Couple Married on 31st Anniversary

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Clyde and Michael Cooper Clyde and Michael Cooper

Two Charlottesville men are celebrating their first full day of marriage after spending more than three decades waiting to say "I do."

The Supreme Court’s decision this summer to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act spurred the couple to tie the knot, now they're hopeful Virginia will one day recognize their marriage.

Friday the couple marked the anniversary of 31 years as a couple in a special way. The Charlottesville couple was legally married - sporting pink polo shirts and rainbow pins - at Union Station in Washington D.C.

Seventy-six-year-old Clyde Cooper and 52-year-old Michael Cooper are starting their 32nd year together with a new title.  The men say they are excited for the legalization of their union and the opportunity to obtain federal marriage benefits.

Michael Cooper said, “I think we've been married. I think all of this is just ceremonial.”

A wedding officiant read the nuptials before the Coopers exchanged "I dos" and gold bands on their right ring fingers.

Clyde stated. “I never thought in my lifetime, I’d see a situation where we could be recognized as gay married couple, same sex-married couple.”

The pair says there was finally a reason to make their union official after the Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act in June. Michael can now benefit from Clyde’s health insurance.

Michael said, “Us, as gay people, are trying to get our rights. We don't want any special treatment, we just want what everyone else has.”

The Coopers say they are optimistic their neighbors here in Virginia will eventually recognize their marriage.

Clyde said, “Virginia will not accept us yet. They will, they will by hook or crook.”

They say they've received an overwhelmingly positive response in Charlottesville.

Michael said, “Charlottesville has really opened up the years that we've been here. I think Virginia has too, but I’ll be glad when they accept same-sex marriages here.”

The couple asked for acceptance, support, and good wishes instead of gifts on their special day.

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