Right, you'll have to stick with us here until we explain what's actually going on properly.
Norman MacArthur, 74, and Bill Novak, 76 have been together for 50 years, but when they moved from New York to Pennsylvania in the year 2000, their relationship was not recognised by the state. As they began to plan their estates, they were told that they would have a big hurdle to overcome: "We went to a lawyer who told us Pennsylvania was never going to allow same-sex marriage, so the only legal avenue we had in order to be afforded any rights was adoption".
While it seems like a strange step, after some research MacArthur found that other couples had done something similar in the past, in order not only to sort out their wills, but also for other reasons: "with new HIPAA privacy laws, hospitals are very constrained in what they can say to other people. If we were legally related, I would be allowed into the ER and entitled to know what Bill’s condition was if anything should happen."
They went through the adoption process with Norman as the son and Bill as the father, but after a judge ruled late last year that the law in Pennsylvania against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, they decided to get married and went about organising their wedding.
— Anke Wexler (@AnkeWexler) May 29, 2015
Speaking to Yahoo, the couple said they went to court to have the adoption dissolved, and brought 300 friends and family to testify to the unusual nature of the case. As Norman explains, "when the judge signed the order our friends burst into applause and I burst into tears".
The pair were married in a ceremony last Sunday, after spending the last 15 years as adopted father and son.