Gay Marriage: Couple Together For 50 Years First To Wed In Dallas, As Landmarks Across The Nation Don Rainbow Flag To Celebrate SCOTUS Ruling [Gallery]

On Friday, in a history-making five-to-four decision, the Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was legal nationwide. Celebrating the ruling by receiving their marriage license — and officially becoming the first gay couple to marry in Dallas, Texas — were Jack Evans, 85, and George Harris, 82.

The couple, who met at a house party in 1961, had long ago decided not to follow in the footsteps of their friends and marry in a place where gay marriage was already legal, as they wanted to be wed in Texas, their home.

“A lot of our friends went out of state or Canada to get married, but we being Texans we wanted to hold out for Texas,” Harris said. “I said, well, I hope we live long enough.

“Ten years ago, this was not even imaginable. Had little hope it would ever come to Texas,” Evans added, “Still shocked that Texas is allowing it today.”

To make their marriage ceremony even more special, Evans and Harris — who have been together for nearly 55 years — had their marriage performed by a friend who attends the same church as they do. Judge Dennise Garcia even tweeted out Friday morning, after SCOTUS ruled in favor of marriage equality, that she was on vacation and therefore would be at the courthouse “as long as needed” to perform marriage ceremonies for waiting couples. Judge Garcia, along with other officiates throughout the state of Texas, decided to waive the standard 72-hour waiting period between obtaining a marriage license and having the ceremony.

After paying the $91 fee to obtain their marriage license, Evans — who walks with a cane, and had his lapel adorned with a rainbow flag pin — and Harris — who proudly carried their marriage license, as well as three red roses — filed into the courtroom to the sound of rowdy applause, to become the first gay couple to wed in Dallas County, Texas. Once the marriage ceremony was complete, the two lifted their glasses and wiped tears from their eyes. The Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is a far cry from where this happy couple started 54 years ago, having had to hide who they truly were for 20 years.

The gay community and their allies weren’t the only ones celebrating SCOTUS’ ruling on gay marriage yesterday. The entire nation showed the world that love will always conquer hate by proudly illuminating famous landmarks with the rainbow flag, as the hashtag #LoveWins trended on Twitter.

[Image Credits: Header – People Gallery – Advocate/Twitter]