This story originally appeared on KERA News.
In Dallas County, the first same-sex marriage license was issued to Jack Evans and George Harris, who have been together for more than 50 years.
They met in the early 1960s.
Evans is 85; Harris is 82.
“I’m excited to see so many people down here. Love is everywhere, and that’s a great thing,” Harris said.
“It’s gratifying to know there are all of these people,” Evans said about the people gathering at the courthouse.
“We’d never thought we’d see the day. We’re very excited and we’ve waited a long time for it,” Harris said.
George Harris and Jack Evans first met at a party in Dallas in 1961.
They lived together and They sold residential real estate together.
George is 82; Jack is 85.
On Friday morning, they showed up to the Records Building in downtown Dallas wearing dark jackets and burgundy-colored ties.
“I’m excited to see so many people down here. Love is everywhere, and that’s a great thing,” George said.
He was on the sixth floor, which was packed with couples waiting for marriage licenses, onlookers and media.
“We’d never thought we’d see the day. We’re very excited and we’ve waited a long time for it,” George said.
Then it was time for the ceremony. Dozens packed the courtroom.
Judge Dennise Garcia, a friend of theirs from church, asked if she could call them Jack and George.
“George, will you have Jack to be your lawful wedded husband?” she asked. “Will you love, honor and comfort him until death do you part?”
George responded: “I do and I will.”
The judge told them that marriage is solemn – an occasion to be entered into seriously. She told them to prepare to pledge their love, faith, and fidelity.
There was loud, boisterous applause from the crowd.
Then the judge pronounced that they were married — spouses for life.
More on Evans and Harris from The United Methodist Church:
Evans grew up in Olney, Texas, attending a Presbyterian Church. Harris is from Flora, Miss., where his parents helped start a Methodist church.
“We were there every time the doors opened,” he recalled.
Evans and Harris said they met in 1961 at a party thrown by an antiques dealer whose clients included Betty Criswell, wife of the Rev. W.A. Criswell, who for decades led the First Baptist Church of Dallas with fiery, fundamentalist preaching.
Along with living together for more than a half century, Evans and Harris were longtime partners in selling real estate.
“We worked together and lived together for 38 years,” Harris said. “You may imagine that that has its own challenges.”