December 3rd, 2011 my husband Dean and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. Dean proposed to me on my 40th birthday. After being together for five years, and opening the Wilde Roast Café together, we knew our love would last.
I have to admit, I didn’t see the point of a wedding because it wasn’t legal, but I knew how important this wedding was to him. So we planned the day together.
On December 3, 2005 we got married in a Lodge in Hayward, Wisconsin with eighty of our friends and family members present. The field stone fireplace was filling the log lodge with warmth while the snow was lightly falling outside. We had picked this location because of its meaning to us. We spent many long weekends at this lodge and we wanted to share it with our family and friends.
I knew my family would be there, but we were worried about Dean’s conservative farm family (we had not received any RSVP’s back from them). I knew it would be an emotional night when I saw his family arrive. When the Reverend Paul Tucker said, “Some people think what we are doing tonight is radical, but love is radical,” his family broke into tears.
That is when I knew why Dean wanted to marry me. It was to know we had the support of our families and friends. He wanted to show them how important I was to him. I now know why people get married. It is powerful to feel the love and support of your family. It is wonderful to know they will be there for you always. We felt the sacred; our God was present.
I call Dean my husband because we are married. Our God and our family blessed our marriage. On our anniversary, as I think about the anti-gay marriage amendment, I wish the Minnesotans who want to deny marriage to couples like us find it in their hearts to get to know families like ours.
I am married and my husband and I will be celebrating our wedding anniversary for years to come.
Tom DeGree, Lake Elmo
Running for Minnesota State Representative in (currently) District 56A