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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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Photo by Phillip Goldsberry on Unsplash

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