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First Same Sex Marriage License Issued in St. Thomas

gay couple

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The first ever same-sex couple has tied the knot in the Virgin Islands after spending over four decades together.

Rick Weinstein, 68, and Tom Eggleston, 73, decided that they could not wait any longer to finally get married following the landmark Supreme Court ruling earlier this month.

The top U.S. court ruled that all couples, straight or gay, have a constitutional right to marry.

The couple got married in a private ceremony on July 8 – which pre-dates Gov. Kenneth Mapp’s executive order on marriage equality by one day. Mapp signed the order July 9.

Same-sex couples  had been told to wait until this week when Lt. Gov. Osbert Potter could co-sign the executive order on same-sex marriage.

“This thing about being the first same sex-couple marriage on the islands is purely accidental,” Weinstein said on Monday.

“We’ve been married for 44 years in our minds. It was – I can’t say it was a burning desire to have a marriage certificate, though I think both of us are very happy. We do call each other husband,” he told the Virgin Islands Daily News.

Weinstein said the SCOTUS ruling was simply the law catching up with society – he said people had accepted the couple for decades.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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