MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Gregory Maurice Smith and William Leonard Hasty III were the first same-sex couple to wed in Mamaroneck. The Larchmont residents, currently honeymooning in Niagara Falls, have been at the forefront of hot button topics like adoption, military service, and marriage. The newly wed couple reflects on how far the country has come since meeting in 1984.
Had you pursued marriage out-of-state before getting married in Mamaroneck? We did not pursue an out-of-state wedding, although we were registered domestic partners in California. It didn't feel right having to flee across state lines to get married.
What obstacles have you faced as a same-sex couple? Believe it or not, we have really faced few obstacles since we met in 1984. We were both Army officers prior to even don't ask/don't tell so we had to lie and make up fake girlfriends back in the 1980s. Other than that, we have been completely out of the closet living in Memphis, Washington D.C., San Francisco and New York and have not really had any problems. We are very up front about our relationship, and find that to be the key to acceptance.
Describe your wedding. Our wedding was a simple ceremony at Mamaroneck Town Hall, with the two of us and our two sons (and a friend as a witness). Christina Battalia, Town Clerk performed the ceremony. Our two sons, Dudley Smith Hasty, 6, and Baker Smith Hasty, 7, were thrilled to have the ceremony. They got to wear suits and present the rings. Really, the ceremony was for them. They have been asking us when we were going to get married for a few years now.
How will this change your lives together? Getting married doesn't really change our relationship, as we have been together for 27 years. It does feel great, though, to cross another hurdle that we never thought we would be able to back in the 1980s and 1990s, when no one was talking about same-sex marriage.
Do you have children, or plan on adopting? Our two sons are adopted. We were one of the first same-sex couples to adopt as a couple in the country. Prior, one parent would adopt while often hiding their sexual orientation, and then the other parent would do a second parent adoption a few years later. We were proud to go through the process openly as a couple in Maryland and help set a precedent for others.
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