With the coronavirus pandemic prompting lockdowns across the world, and marriage ceremonies being outright canceled in several regions, some couples are rushing to tie the knot.
Such was the case with partners Mitch and Brian, who live in New York City – which has emerged as a COVID-19 hotspot in the US.
Although becoming engaged during a trip to Provincetown last summer, the men weren’t planning on getting married last week… but then the pandemic prompted a change of plans.
Mitch told Pink News that he works for an arts and culture nonprofit. He became fearful that the pandemic could prompt him to lose his job, and therefore his health insurance. At the current time, nobody wants to lose their health insurance.
The two men decided that rather than wait, now would be a good time to get hitched.
“We figured it was a good idea to pull the trigger on getting married,” he said, “So that I could be added to Brian’s health insurance, if it gets to that … So, this past Thursday, we broke our self-isolation and went to City Hall to get our marriage license.”
City Hall told them that they could get married if their license was signed by an officiant and mailed in. Fortunately, a co-worker of Brian’s is authorized to officiate weddings. The two men got the license and rushed back to their studio apartment.
There, alongside the officiant colleague and two friends as witnesses, they had their wedding ceremony. They celebrated by placing a sign on their fire escape that read, “Just married: Still quarantined.”
“Our studio apartment wasn’t the venue of our dreams, but it felt right and was great to have the support of everyone who was present,” said Mitch.
“We’re looking forward to celebrating with everyone when we’re allowed to go back outside.”
It was a race against city hall, but we narrowly won. I love this man so, so, so much. Enjoy the health insurance, Mitch! pic.twitter.com/36bc6kTXnX
— feral streep (@brianbrownbear) March 21, 2020
The two men have both tweeted about their wedding, with both their tweets prompting thousands of likes and messages of congratulations.
Okay, NOW we’re married!!! 🥰 https://t.co/p3mOki5NiC
— No Malarkey & Me (@themitchcase) March 21, 2020
The couple acted just in time. On Friday, City Hall announced it was closing its marriage license bureau, “until further notice.”
As of yesterday, New York state had 25,665 recorded cases of COVID-19, while there have been 192 deaths in New York City alone. Further restrictions were being implemented to stem the spread of the virus.
The White House yesterday asked those leaving the New York City area – many of whom are trying to escape the virus – to self-quarantine for 14 days to avoid spreading the disease in other parts of the US.