Dozens of Utah’s gay couples received marriage licenses at the Washington County Clerk’s office on December 23. Emmy Award-winning journalist Reed Cowan, who produced “8: The Mormon Proposition,” and his partner were among those to officially tie the knot.
In a four-minute video taken after the couple obtained their marriage license, Cowan and his partner celebrate, accompanied by their twin sons Asher and Kai and daughter Rion. In the short clip, Linda Stay—the subject of Cowan’s documentary—performs a brief ceremony for the pair. Originally from Roosevelt, Utah, Cowan traveled from Las Vegas with his partner and their children to be included among the first same-sex couples to get married in the state of Utah.
“I think it’s amazing. For a kid growing up in a small Utah town I never thought I’d see this day,” said Cowan’s partner, Greg Abplanalp. “Great to see everyone getting the same rights to healthcare, insurance, Social Security, etc.”
Marty Pendry and Brian Struthers of St. George were the very first gay couple to be married. They were allowed to turn in their signed and completed marriage license first and it was approved around 7:58 AM, even though the clerk’s office didn’t officially open until 8:00.
Also among the dozens of same-sex couples who tied the knot were the chairman of Springdale’s planning commission, Joe Pitti, and former Springdale council man Mark Chambers. The newly married men jointly own Under the Eaves, a bed and breakfast at Zion National Park in Springdale.
Despite a state request to place a hold on the same-sex marriages on Monday, the unions will continue at least for the time being, as a federal judge has denied the stay.