Main | Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dallas Gay Couple E-Marries Via Skype

Dallas couple Mark Reed and Dante Walkup got legally married in a local W Hotel courtesy of Skype and a licensed officiator in Washington DC.
Their “Skype” wedding was officiated via teleconference from Washington, D.C., where same-sex marriage is legal, and they received their license in the mail a short time later. It’s called “e-marriage,” and it’s a sort of high-tech version of the proxy wedding traditionally held when one of the parties can’t be physically present — because, for example, they’re in the military stationed overseas. “The reason we wanted to do it this way is because we wanted to have a wedding here in Dallas with our family and friends,” Reed said. “It was very important that all of our family came. It was the first time they actually met, even though we’ve been together 10 years. If we had to go to D.C., there’s no way we could have had the people there who we wanted to be there.”

Reed and Walkup, co-owners of WDM Lighting on Oak Lawn Avenue, were married in a conference room at the W hotel on Oct. 10, in front of about 80 people with a 6-by-8-foot screen looming behind them. The couple had rented a similar room at a W hotel in Washington, where marriage equality activist Sheila Alexander-Reid officiated the wedding. “When we walked down the aisle, as soon as we reached the front, she comes on the screen like The Wizard of Oz,” Reed said. “It was beautiful. It wasn’t make-believe. It was like she was really there.”
The couple acknowledges that the validity of their wedding could be challenged, even though Washington DC has no law against e-marriages.

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