They promised to love, care and annoy each other into eternity.
On Wednesday, in a packed office on the third floor of the Florida Capitol building in Tallahassee, Daniel Sohn and Kaitik Chan were married. It was the first same-sex wedding performed at the Florida Capitol, where same-sex marriages were once banned.
Sohn, 28, a Haverhill town councilman, met Chan, 31, a sales and marketing professional within exports and trades, on the dating app Tinder. They instantly hit it off and soon began dating exclusively, both attracted to each other as well as mildly irked by differences in personalities.
“The truth is other people were hoping that we would give up on each other and I’m so glad that we didn’t,” Chan said during the reading of the vows. “While you are not perfect, sometimes I get annoyed by your energy and hyperactivity, you are the most loving and grounded person on earth and not to mention very handsome.”
Sohn, acknowledged the historical moment of the ceremony, recalling how he had roamed the halls of Florida’s Capitol as an aide, activist and public official since he was 11. He fought back tears as he read his vows to Chan.
“Up until five years ago this day, our day, would not have been possible and certainly not accepted where we are standing,” said Sohn, who identifies as bisexual. He was the first out politician elected in Haverhill’s history.
Florida House Representative Carlos G. Smith officiated the proceedings. Smith, the first LGBT Latinx legislator in Florida, quoted retired Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who cast the deciding vote in favor of same-sex marriage in the 2015 landmark case Obergefell v. Hodges.
“No union is more profound than marriage for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union two people become something greater than they once were. Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it -- respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. They’re hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions, they ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law and the Constitution grants them that right.”
Sohn and Chan exchanged vows and rings and confirmed their marriage intentions during the 12-minute civil ceremony attended by many elected officials and Tallahassee leadership.
“You remind me each day that people depend on me and that’s why I need to depend on you,” Sohn said to Chan. “You are the reason it took so long for me to find the right person. You are my person. You are handsome, understanding and extremely patient. You love your mom and you love mine. I am so glad that I get to annoy you for the rest of your life but I promise it will be one of the best rides you’ve ever had. I love you.”
The couple will reside in Haverhill. Honeymoon plans are pending.
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