Wayne County marries same-sex couples Friday
Detroit — When David Daily met John Stevens, he knew instantly that they'd marry someday.
Thirty-nine years later, that day finally arrived.
"When I saw him I said 'that's my husband,' " Daily, 66, of Detroit recalled of the night he met Stevens at a bar in Lansing. "When I saw him, I loved him. And I've been with him all my life."
The couple, who lives in Detroit's Indian Village neighborhood, legalized their commitment along with seven other same-sex couples during a ceremony Friday afternoon in the auditorium of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
"I never thought this would happen," Daily remarked shortly before the couples exchanged vows and rings.
The brief ceremony, officiated by Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett, took place hours after the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Michigan and 13 other states.
The couple was among several same-sex partners who paid Friday to waive a three-day waiting period for a license and marry immediately.
Bill McGinnis and Steve Dickey were the first to walk into the Wayne County building Friday morning to obtain a marriage license after learning on television that the ruling had come down. They wed in a private ceremony shortly after.
The Livonia couple of 45 years said tying the knot was a dream they thought would never be fulfilled.
"I never thought this day would come in my lifetime," said McGinnis, 67, a retired teacher.
The two said they have long had rings and previously had a commitment ceremony in Maui, Hawaii, in 2013. They had a mock wedding ceremony 45 years ago up north.
When asked how much he was paying for the license and private Friday ceremony, Dickey, a 64-year-old retired social worker, joked: "I don't know or care."
It totaled $209.
The two say they aren't planning anything special for the rest of the day.
"We've been together this long," McGinnis said. "We don't need the hoopla."
Garrett made clear her office would honor the law and "handle requests just like heterosexual marriages."
"This has been a historical week," Garrett said Friday. "I'm just honored to be the county clerk today."
For Christina Leslie and her new bride, Natalie Leslie, of Taylor, both 32, the ability to marry will allow them to each have legal claim to their daughter, Alice, who was born in October.
"It made my day. It's so surreal," Natalie Leslie said of the wedding. "I don't know what to say."
Added Christina: "It's like a dream. It happened so fast, but we are married."
Jina Sawani, a spokeswoman for Garrett, noted that for a $10 fee, any individual can waive the three-day waiting period for obtaining their marriage license. The cost of participating in Friday's mass ceremony was $100.
"We're overwhelmed and really excited," said Katie Keyandwy, 28, who married her partner of four years. "I'm glad to finally be in the moment."
Keyandwy and Christina Wren, 31, of Redford said they are now making plans to start a family.
For those requesting marriage licenses, proper identification will be required, as will standard processing fees of $20, the office said. A gender-neutral application is also available on the clerk's website.
Based on the high volume of marriages in the summer months, the office next month will begin offering mass wedding ceremonies at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The offering will run through July 31.
Private ceremonies are already offered at 10 a.m. Monday through Friday, and mass weddings on Fridays. The office is located on the second floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
For more information about obtaining a marriage license and/or scheduling a wedding with the Wayne County Clerk's Office, visit http://waynecounty.com/clerk/1703.htm.