Till Court Do Us Part 

Six tales of marital bliss and cruel disappointment.

Page 5 of 9

Leland: [laughs loudly]

Stewart: For us, it wasn't a giant priority. We dated our marriage from October 11, 1991. That's the day Berkeley extended domestic partner registration to everybody on the planet. We got certificate #3 and we had a little ceremony with the mayor ...

Leland: ... and 28 other couples.

Stewart: People always ask us, "Are you going to get married?" and we said, well, not really. We know we're married, and that was that. No friends, no family, nothing.

So why did you do it?

Stewart: I remember saying to Leland specifically that if they shut it down -- which I fully expected them to do -- we'll have an interesting souvenir. I just didn't have high hopes that this was going to go anywhere legally.

Leland: I had every confidence that we would lose it in the courts. But it was important to make a statement. Because battles like these are never won overnight. As much as Gavin Newsom, bless his name, wanted to give us our civil rights, civil rights are never given, they are always won.

Stewart: They are taken. So that's how we came to the decision to get married: because we could. We called up friends and family and said be at City Hall at the front steps at 10 a.m. We went out and bought matching shirts and boutonnieres -- a wedding in 24 hours!

Leland: And the strangest thing happened. We already had the license. So we didn't need to stand in line. ...

Stewart: ... We just needed to get married, so we were asking, can we get into the rotunda to find someone to marry us?

Leland: A guy said, I can marry you right out here standing on the front steps of City Hall. People in the crowd started chanting "Marry them! Marry them!" So he created a little space on the steps of City Hall, and we stood in front of him. Julian stood between us, and our friends and family formed a semicircle around us. It was a very sweet and beautiful service. We kissed and we turned around and looked at all of our friends and family and right in back of them were about forty Japanese tourists going click click click. So God knows how many Japanese Web sites our marriage got put on.

Stewart: It was magical and it was a circus at the same time.

Did it make you feel any different?

Leland: Yes, it did for me. I knew at Berkeley we were taking baby steps towards the future. This was a much bigger step, politically. It was amazing to actually get married in front of ...

Stewart: ... friends and family and witnesses. Out in the open. Just like anybody else.

Leland: As they said in Moonstruck, "In front of God and all of these people." Julian's comment was, "The kissing at the wedding was just disgusting," which is a really good four-year-old comment to make.

What's next for you?

Leland: We have a new Web site because we're trying to adopt a second time now. Now we're different from who we were. We're not the world travelers anymore, we're this stay-at-home couple with our kid. But it's been up at least a year and a half.

Stewart: We tried to go through the foster adopt system, but they really pissed us off. There were so many rules, and ugh, I just couldn't take it anymore, so we called it quits.

Leland: I was always afraid of adoption because of social workers coming into my house saying you've got to do this and that, and judging me as if I couldn't be a good parent. They actually made real all of my worst adoption fantasies.

Stewart: Currently we are also trying with a surrogate.

Leland: Whatever happens first, happens first.

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