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.

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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On an old episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in July 1992, Oprah put her audience through a social experiment that puts racism in a new light. Despite being nearly two decades old, it's as relevant today as ever.

She split the audience members into two groups based on their eye color. Those with brown eyes were given preferential treatment by getting to cut the line and given refreshments while they waited to be seated. Those with blue eyes were made to put on a green collar and wait in a crowd for two hours.

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Valerie Anglemyer, a middle school teacher with more than 13 years of experience, says it can be difficult to create engaging course work that's applicable to the challenges students face. "I think that sometimes, teachers don't know where to begin. Teachers are always looking for ways to make learning in their classrooms more relevant."

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A new program for teachers that offers this network along with other resources is the WE Teachers Program, an initiative developed by Walgreens in partnership with ME to WE and Mental Health America. WE Teachers provides tools and resources, at no cost to teachers, looking for guidance around the social issues related to poverty, youth violence, mental health, bullying, and diversity and inclusion. Through online modules and trainings as well as a digital community, these resources help them address the critical issues their students face.

Jessica Mauritzen, a high school Spanish teacher, credits a network of support for providing her with new opportunities to enrich the learning experience for her students. "This past year was a year of awakening for me and through support… I realized that I was able to teach in a way that built up our community, our school, and our students, and supported them to become young leaders," she says.

With the new WE Teachers program, teachers can learn to identify the tough issues affecting their students, secure the tools needed to address them in a supportive manner, and help students become more socially-conscious, compassionate, and engaged citizens.

It's a potentially life-saving experience for students, and in turn, "a great gift for teachers," says Dr. Sanderlin.

"I wish I had the WE Teachers program when I was a teacher because it provides the online training and resources teachers need to begin to grapple with these critical social issues that plague our students every day," she adds.

In addition to the WE Teachers curriculum, the program features a WE Teachers Award to honor educators who go above and beyond in their classrooms. At least 500 teachers will be recognized and each will receive a $500 Walgreens gift card, which is the average amount teachers spend out-of-pocket on supplies annually. Teachers can be nominated or apply themselves. To learn more about the awards and how to nominate an amazing teacher, or sign up for access to the teacher resources available through WE Teachers, visit walgreens.com/metowe.

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