Two years later, same-sex couple reflects on life-changing law

RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Same-sex couples in Virginia celebrated an important anniversary in Virginia on Thursday.

Two years ago, October 6, the Commonwealth legally recognized same-sex marriages, a day Ryan Gardner and Sam Howerton will never forget.

4a652edd632240faaf89cfcfbd0aec39Now married, they own an upholstery and furniture refinishing business together.

Although Virginia officially recognized same-sex marriages two years ago, the two men said they were already married in 2008. But now the law is on their side.

“We considered ourselves married to begin with a long time ago, so this kind of finalized everything with us and made it legal,” Gardner said. “He gets to share health insurance now and stuff like that, we get to do the things that normal married people do.

“The legal stuff, especially like medical choices, if something were to happen to one of us, the other person’s family can’t come in and just toss you out on the street, which has happened to a friend of ours.”

Before the law was passed, the two even worried about the house they purchased.

“There are more worries in the back of your head like, we bought this house four years ago, now three years ago before we were legally married it was in my name, so if I were to die he’d be on the street,” Howerton explained.


The couple stated they do not take the two-year law for granted and they remain worried about the current presidential election.

“With the current political situation, I’m very concerned that things might get changed back, they might repeal the law, I don’t know,” Gardner said.

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