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First Christmas Since Same-Sex Marriage Legalization

Nathan and Willis

This year will be the first Christmas Willis and Nathan Banks spend together as a married couple.

Willis and Nathan Banks had been dating for almost a year before the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage nationwide in June 2015. When they realized it might actually be a possibility for them, they finally started making plans.

“I never knew I wanted to get married until I thought that I had the chance dangling in front of me and it might get taken away,” Nathan Banks says. “Like, with no one else was I really interested.”

About three months after the SCOTUS decision, Willis and Nathan eloped to a nearby county and officially tied the knot. It’s not their first Christmas as a couple, but they say it feels different now that they’re married.

“Well for one, we’re living together now and in a new city. Now, It’s a matter of planning it all together instead of, ‘Let’s just bring gifts over,’” Willis Banks says.

Nathan decided to take his husband’s last name, and he says changing his name on official documents and participating in Willis’ family events has made him feel how different their relationship is now.

“I think we just kind of really went all out, like the little stockings,” Nathan says. “And just buying anyone we can think of presents, like spending way too much money. Like just saying, ‘We’re married now!’”

Willis and Nathan will spend Christmas morning with their four cats, but will also visit with their families over the holiday.

“We’re a family, and you really feel it, that the law has changed means a lot,” Nathan says. “I didn’t really expect it, I’m just so grateful for that.”

Willis says last Christmas they didn’t even expect to have the option to be married this year.

“It really has been the best thing in the world.”

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