Miguel Rico and Kelly Christopherson of Tacoma were sure same-sex marriage would be legalized in Washington.
So they got engaged and they waited.
Rico, 38, and Christopherson, 31, bought a house and built their lives together, but they never had a ceremony or domestic partnership. They held out for marriage.
On Sunday, they exchanged vows and joyful tears at the top of the grand staircase in Seattles City Hall, and left the ceremony to a crowd of strangers cheering and handing them roses.
They were one of 140 couples scheduled to be wed there.
Question: When did you know you wanted to spend your lives together?
Answer: Christopherson: You proposed to me about three years ago.
Rico (laughing): We were walking down the beach (near Forks), and I had written it in the sand, and he walked past it. There were like two more miles, and then we turned around and walked back. I had to make him stop and actually look down and see what was there.
Christopherson: I knew that thats what I wanted before he even asked.
Rico: I told him that when we passed the law here in Washington, that wed go ahead and wed get our marriage done.
Q: You were that confident it wouldnt be long before it passed?
A: Rico: I knew and was confident it was only a matter of time. We had made the verbal commitment to each other and didnt really need the whole ceremony and circus. We just went forward with our lives, with the house and the trust and our businesses. It was a real trust and commitment to each other.
Christopherson: I agreed to wait until its legal and the anticipation of that day kept us going. We knew eventually it would become legal. And hes stuck with me, so we werent afraid of the long-term thing, because were for the rest of our lives anyway. We knew it would happen within our lifetimes at least.
Q: Were you involved in the Washington United for Marriage campaign?
A: Rico: We went to meetings, we went to fundraisers, we donated to it. We have equality in this country, but we didnt have equal access to our equality because we werent allowed to marry. I mean, how can you really be an inclusive citizen if youre not allowed to participate in every way you should be, according to our constitutional Bill of Rights?
Christopherson: Its about love and wanting what every other adult wants. You make a commitment to another human being and you commit for life and you want to celebrate that and you want it recognized. The title is important to me, just because of that equality.
Q: What are the practical effects of being married?
A: Rico: Last year I got to buy a house and he couldnt be a part of it because (we werent) married. But he put time and effort and money into this house just as much as I did. Therein lies the problem. If something happened to me or something happened to the house and I wasnt here, he wouldnt have any rights for something that is his.
Christopherson: If anything would have happened to either one of us physically as well, we wouldnt have the right to help each other in the hospital or see each other.
Q: Washington is one of nine states to legalize same-sex marriage. Did you ever consider going elsewhere? Was it important to you that you be married in Washington state?
A: Rico: We considered going to Iowa or Maine or New York. But even if we got married in another state, we would still have to come back to this state. And what good does that do us? It doesnt work state to state. Thats the next direction this process is going to have to continue in, to make this a federally recognized law.
Q: Explain your decision to take part in the city hall ceremony.
A: Rico: Part of my reasoning is that we should be part of the historic moment, and I want it to be recorded that we were some of the first people to be married in the state, and nationally, for that matter, as a same-sex couple.
Q: How will you celebrate with friends and family?
A: Rico: As far as my family, theyre not accepting of this at all, and they dont talk about it. I dont really have that close of a bond with them.
Christopherson: Were totally cool with having (a summer reception) at the house. I do weddings all the time for work.
Q: Have you thought about a honeymoon and where you might go?
A: Rico: Funny that you ask that. When we found out the initiative had passed in Washington state, we were in Maui, sitting in our hotel room. So we kind of went on our honeymoon already.
Christopherson: Thats what were calling it.
Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268