Dan Savage is finally legally wed in America!

UPDATE: Sign our e-card congratulating Dan and Terry on their (US) marriage, and leave a personal comment on the card as well.  I’ll make sure Dan and Terry see them.  Thanks, JOHN


Dan Savage always used to joke that he and his husband Terry, who got married in Canada years ago, were “husbands in Canada, boyfriends in America.”

Dan’s husband Terry Miller sent this photo, below, out on Instagram a few hours ago of them registering their legal marriage in Seattle this morning.  They were one of the first gay couples to register their marriage today, now that gay marriages are legal in Washington State.

It looks like Terry will finally need to update his Instagram tag that reads:

Husband in Canada, boyfriend in America, of Dan Savage.

Though it should now read:

Husband in Canada and Seattle, boyfriend in Washington, DC, of Dan Savage.

Here’s the photo, and below is video of Dan Savage talking at the event:

Photo instagramed by Dan Savage's husband Terry of their marriage registration in Seattle this morning. Note the MLK photo in the background.

Photo instagramed by Dan Savage’s husband Terry of their marriage registration in Seattle this morning. Note the MLK photo in the background.

Dan Savage famously got married in 2004 to a lesbian, in order to show how goofed up US marriage laws are.

According to the Seattle Times–and King County Executive Ron Sims and Lambda Legal’s Jamie Pedersen–I’m to “blame” for Sims and local gay rights groups finally getting off their asses and actually doing something about gay marriage. And how did I accomplish that? By showing up at the King County Administration Building last week and obtaining–obtaining, not just asking for, but actually getting–a marriage license. There it is, right on this page, in all of its sanctity-of-marriage glory. It’s got my name on it, and Ron Sims’ name, and King County’s seal.

I may be the only openly gay man in Washington State who has a legal marriage license. Unfortunately, it’s not a license to marry my boyfriend–the guy I’ve lived with for 10 years, the guy I started a family with, the guy I’m still crazy about–but a license to marry my coworker, Amy Jenniges. As much as I enjoy working with her, I’m not going to leave my boyfriend for Amy.

And here’s the video from the event:


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • TJ

    They are legally married, though. That’s what I was pointing out. Here is the text of the legislation:
    “A marriage between two persons that is recognized as valid in another jurisdiction is
    valid in this state only if the marriage is not prohibited or made unlawful under subsection.”
    Because of this, their marriage in Canada was immediately recognized, the moment marriage equality was on the books. There’s no need for a license for them, and there’s no need for a three day waiting period. They are married.
    Can they re-license and re-marry? They could. Speak to an attorney, and they’ll likely say you shouldn’t. There are legal difficulties from re-marrying (not renewing vows, but actually getting licensed again and again). Most states require you to swear you are not currently married (to your betrothed or another person) to get your license.

  • Same-sex and opposite-sex marriages are not treated equally in the US. Same-sex marriages are not recognized at the federal level, no matter where they take place. Most individual states also do not recognize same-sex marriages, even those that are legal in other states. The law in Washington state under which Savage got his license changes things only in that state, not elsewhere.

  • Isn’t there a 3 day waiting period after getting a marriage license?

  • TJ

    Interestingly, at the stroke of midnight, Dan and Terry were married according to the State of Washington. Their Canadian marriage became recognized based on the legislation that was passed and voter approved. There really is no need for them to get another marriage license and re-marry.

  • Alison

    Opposite sex Canadian marriages are recognized as valid throughout the USA.

    By the same token, same sex Canadian marriages ought to be recognized wherever same sex American marriages are recognized.

    New Yorkers who move to Massachusetts or Iowa or Washington do not need to get remarried in their new state to be recognized as married.

    Savage’s repeat marriage is just puzzling. And it seems to call Canadian ceremonies into question unnecessarily.

  • Don Chandler

    “Why would he need to get married again, except for the publicity?”

    If for no other reason, to honor the voters that approved marriage equality this past election. But having done a quick search, a same sex marriage in canada will not bring recognition in any state with a Doma clause. And there is also ‘the’ publicity’ that is beneficial to all same-sex couples in the US: that it’s a reality in the State of Washington, Maine, Md, Minnesota and the other states that have already approved marriage equality…and Canadian Law is no longer pertinent in these states. Congrats to the couple and all couples.

    Marriage Equality is not a done deal at the Federal level either. And Where is Obama right now? Hope he is working to make it so. Haven’t read any Supreme court info lately…are they just ignoring the lower courts and the voters???

  • Josh

    They actually are married in Washington, DC, John. DC has had same sex marriage for several years now!

  • A reader in Colorado

    That’s nice. Really.

    Now it’s time to start working on Marriage equality in the rest of America. How quickly those on the coasts forget flyover land. Many people forget that in this plan to do marriage equality state by state, many people got left behind. Some of those people, such as I, heavily donated to other state battles so that Dan and Terry could enjoy the right they so richly deserve.

    It’s time that ended. We could have 30 more state battles or we could have a national push to legislatively undo DOMA and recognize same sex marriages wherever they occur, assuming the Supreme Court does not undo it themselves. I doubt in the extreme that the Court will return a positive verdict. And why wait, whatever the Court’s machinations are?

    It’s not enough to simply have marriage rights in Washington state and a handful of others. And it will take 20 years to get what we are due in Colorado and other states, fighting the states one by one.

  • Greg

    What in the world makes you think Canadian marriages are recognized in the US? Some states might (like my state, California), but there is certainly no Federal recognition (like taxes — we still must file “single”) and there is no recognition in at least 30 states where constitutional amendments have been passed.

  • samizdat

    Mazel tov, Mr. Miller and Mr. Savage! (Not Jewish, btw; I just like saying mazel tov!) Now if we could only get most of the rest of the country–including the Confederates State of America portion of my state of Missouri–to finally enter the 21st century. There are some nice people in those areas obvs, but unfortunately, the retrograde crowd keep electing fascist Christianists.

    Oh, and obey the Equal Protection Clause of the friggin’ Constitution.

    My wife and I were married through the Ethical Society here in the STL, and we learned that the director and her boyfriend/fiance have decided not to marry until the entirety of the gay population in this country can marry as well. I hope we don’t have to wait too long for that.

  • Naja pallida

    I’m sure the reasoning was purely personal, but there are legal complexities of getting foreign marriages recognized that would not exist with a valid US marriage. There have been several issues with same-sex couples not having their Canadian marriage recognized, even in cases where you’d think it should have been. This is just another layer of protection, and certainly can’t hurt. Plus, maybe he is happy to be able to marry in his own country, instead of having to go to a country a decade ahead of us on social issues to be recognized as a human being with equal rights.

  • Indigo

    That’s nice, I guess.

  • AdmNaismith

    True enough, but considering how f*cked up the marriage laws are in this country right now it pays to be protected with as much official paperwork as you can get.

    And the simple fact is, it is completely legal to marry the same person over and over again in multiple jurisdictions. In the US, there is nothing against that.

  • Alison

    You don’t have to get married again every time a new jurisdiction recognizes equal marriage. Canadian marriages are recognized in the US.

    Why would he need to get married again, except for the publicity?

  • seattlite

    John, I believe the photo is of the two getting a marriage license, which became legal at 12:01 am Thurs. There is a waiting period after getting the license, the first marriages can take place this weekend. They are not yet legally wed in Washington state, though they will be able to complete the process this weekend. Probably best to get the facts right, if there is a way to register foreign gay marriages in WA state, it has not been reported locally. Either way, it’s a long time coming, and Dan has been a prime force in the process.

  • Butch1


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