For Some Couples, Once Was Not Enough

This past Sunday, over six hundred same-sex couples were wed in New York City alone and in the weeks and months to come, thousands of same-sex couples will be wed in the state of New York. But for many of these couples, this will not be the first time they committed publicly to one another.

Some had civil unions. Some became legally recognized as domestic partners. And some were joined in commitment ceremonies or religious weddings. But no matter how these couples were legally committed to one another, they will now have to publicly commit to each other again in order to be recognized as legally married in the state of New York.

“If a couple already spent big bucks for the first marriage, the second celebration tends to be more subdued,” Kirsten Palladino, the editor in chief of, told the New York Times. “And if the first time was smaller—maybe they had a backyard wedding—the second time they might think about renting out a venue and inviting more people.”

Rev. Julie Taylor, a Unitarian Universalist minister, and her spouse Rev. Laurel Koepf, a minister of the United Church of Christ, will now be committing to committing to each other for the third time.

Julie and Laurel already celebrate several days in the calendar—the anniversary of their first date, the day they moved into, the day they became legal domestic partners, the day they were joined in a religious wedding.  Now Julie and Laurel plan to commit to one another for the third time in New York this Thursday, adding another day to the calendar for them to celebrate and remember their love and commitment to one another.

But for Julie and Laurel, without the federal government recognizing their commitment to each other, they know there may be more legal hurdles ahead for them. “I am excited about New York—that we can legally get married,” Julie told us just after the marriage bill was passed in New York. “But until this federal ban is repealed, until this prejudice is lifted, it is just not enough.”

Now is the time for federal marriage discrimination to end. To ask Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, click here.