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From couple, to father and son, to husband and husband: And it only took 53 years.

When the state wouldn't recognize their union, Bill and Norman decided to get creative.

From couple, to father and son, to husband and husband: And it only took 53 years.

Bill and Norman met at a wedding in 1963 and have been in love ever since. Their story shows what happens when people try to stop love — and it wins anyway. Cue the feels and watch:

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Bill Novack and Norman MacArthur are an adorable and happy gay couple who've been together since 1963.


Image by Upworthy and MSNBC


In 1995, they moved from New York (a state that legally recognized them as domestic partners) to Pennsylvania and were all set to live happily ever after, but one tiiiiny thing stood in their way. Well, technically, a not-so-tiny thing.

Pennsylvania was one of those pesky states that didn't recognize same-sex marriage.

So while New York saw Bill and Norman as domestic partners, Pennsylvania saw them as strangers. Why in the world would one state recognize a domestic partnership and another wouldn't? Well, for some reason, there are people who genuinely believe that letting same-sex couples marry is somehow going to "ruin the sanctity of marriage."



GIF from "The Bachelor."

Yup, that's right, I'm looking right at you Juan Pablo from ABC's "The Bachelor." If you aren't familiar with "The Bachelor," it's a charming reality show where 20 or so women in ball gowns fight over one eligible man week after week. There's drama, there's alcohol, there's helicopter dates, and there's even some sex thrown in. The prize? The bachelor's hand in heterosexual marriage.

Where you at marriage sanctity?!

Bill and Norman weren't asking for the right to fight for their love on reality TV. They just wanted to make sure that they were legally protected.

In New York, Bill and Norman were free to live as a married couple, with all the same rights as everyone else. Things like joint income taxes, home ownership and health care were right at their fingertips in New York. It was glorious! But in Pennsylvania, their legal protections went right out the window. Say, for example, Bill or Norman was to get sick and be hospitalized. Because Pennsylvania does not recognize them as married or blood related, they could be denied the right to see each other.

My face if my hubby was in the hospital and I couldn't see him.

That's a pretty terrifying thought. So terrifying, in fact, that Bill and Norman knew they had to do something. They knew they couldn't get married, but they wanted to make sure they were legally protected just in case something happened.

If the state wouldn't recognize their marriage, they'd have to come up with something else. That's when they had an ingenious idea. Adoption.

In 2000, Bill and Norman decided to legally adopt each other. And while the idea of a father and son being married sounds like a strange (and illegal) one, for Bill and Norman it was the perfect loophole. As father and son, they were still able to file their taxes together and stay on each other's health insurance! Even though their new home of Pennsylvania wouldn't recognize their relationship, they found a way to honor it in their own way. Now that's one heck of a beautiful testament to how powerful love can be.


Who's cutting onions? GIF by ebengregory.com

But in 2015 the moment they'd actually been hoping for finally arrived.

After 53 years as a couple, and 15 years as "father and son," Pennsylvania overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban.

Although Bill and Norman could've continued on as father and son, they jumped at the chance to make their marriage official. In May 2015, their adoption was vacated so they could legally wed. And while it was nothing short of a joyous occasion, even Bill couldn't help but chuckle at their truly unique wedding story.

"So literally we had a 52-year engagement and a quick marriage." — Bill Novack



image by Upworthy and MSNBC

It's wonderful to see any couple last for 53 years, but the odds that Bill and Norman faced to honor and protect their love is nothing short of incredible. I can't see how anyone could look down on a love like that, no matter what orientation the couple might be.

Thankfully Bill and Norman's story isn't the only happy ending.

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. No other gay couple will ever have to jump through hoops and loopholes to have their union recognized in the United States — finally love wins for all.

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Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.