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May 03 2011

About Last Weekend

The rumor is true.

I got married on May 1st. Wedded, actually. Texas doesn’t yet allow same-sex couples to be married, but it won’t be too long before that changes, I think.

I married my partner of almost 12 years, Elton. We are lucky to be together as we complement each-other well. I’m the practical techie guy. He has more of a people person with a big heart. He’s a believer, so we’ve had to work through some tension with my being such an atheist advocate. We are doing well, though, otherwise we wouldn’t be making a lifetime commitment.

We had a grand (mostly secular) wedding ceremony with vows, exchanging of rings, and an old African tradition of jumping the broom. We have so many friends that we had to make very painful cuts to the invitee list, so only a few AE and ACA folks were invited. I apologize to anyone that feels slighted. If I could, I would have invited the whole gang. Tracie Harris was one of my grooms maids and she looked stunning. More than a dozen people have told me it was the most beautiful wedding they’ve seen. Elton organized most of it, so it has been a real labor of love.

We did not have a show last weekend because I had a critical number of people at my wedding. Thank you for sharing them with me.

Some pictures have been posted on Facebook and we have received an amazing number of well-wishes. It’s humbling and very flattering to have so many people cheer us on as a couple. The gang of us that put on The Atheist Experience are very fortunate to have such loyal and devoted fans. Thank YOU!

I haven’t been particularly open about being gay or opening up my personal life on the show. It’s not that I’m closeted or anything. I used to run a gay and lesbian student group back in the ’80s. I’m so “out”, I don’t even think about it anymore. I don’t bring it up on the show because so much of it isn’t relevant to the content of the show. It can too easily be a distraction. With the wedding, it’s out in the open for all our fans. Let’s keep the show focused on atheism, though.

When things quiet down a little bit and the red lights stop going off every time I make a credit card purchase, we’ll take a vacation/honeymoon to Massachusetts and get legally married there. The marriage won’t be recognized in Texas until the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) falls. It’s just a matter of time, though, as challenges have already been made at the federal level.

Again, thanks for the warm wishes. Please don’t send gifts. Donations to the ACA would be very welcome, however, but don’t feel obliged.

I’m just happy to have so much support and love in my life.

71 comments

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  1. 1
    Daemon6

    Grats Don! :)

  2. 2
    JD

    That is great to hear Don! I don't mind saying you are one of the better people I know and a genuinely great guy!

  3. 3
    Chris

    Congratulations Don, and thank you for sharing such an important part of your life with us. Looking forward to your next appearance :)

  4. 4
    Christopher Petroni

    Hot damn Don, congratulations! May it be not much longer until your union is officially recognized throughout the country.

  5. 5
    Stephan

    Congrats Don! Hope everything keeps going great for you two!

  6. 6
    Mary

    Congratulations, Don! I wish the two of you much happiness.Mary

  7. 7
    EJ

    Congrats Don! One question, I'm a black guy so I understand how there's a relatively high level of religiosity/homophobia amongst blacks. Did you encounter much push back against the wedding?

  8. 8
    madam lash

    This is the most wonderful news, I'm so happy for you both

  9. 9
    MattSolano

    Congrats! All the best to you guys!

  10. 10
    Mark B

    Congratulations and may the state of Texas catch up with you guys some day!

  11. 11
    Barbara_K

    Congratulations! I saw some of the pictures, it looks like it was a beautiful wedding.

  12. 12
    George

    "I don't bring it up on the show because so much of it isn't relevant to the content of the show."Hopefully, one day soon, it won't be relevant to the content of the law.Most heartfelt wishes of health, long life and happiness to yourself and Elton.

  13. 13
    Gem

    Congratulations! All the best to both of you! My wife was a Lutheran when we got married, and we're getting along just fine.

  14. 14
    MJ

    Congratulations! Last april, we celebrated the 10 year anniversery of gay marriage here in the Netherlands. I hope Texas (and the rest of the world) will leave the medieval times soon too.

  15. 15
    Neato Spiderplant

    Congratulations Don! I'm very happy for you!

  16. 16
    David

    Best wishes. Nothing like finding happiness in your life and you deserve it, I'm sure.

  17. 17
    JosH

    well done! when will the state just let people marry who ever they want…www.lightoutsidethecave.blogspot.com

  18. 18
    David Buck

    My best wishes to you and Elton. The times are changing and I hope soon that same-sex marriage will be accepted everywhere without a second thought.I'm glad that you've found someone to share your life with and hope you both have a long and happy marriage. Best of luck.

  19. 19
    markgnoinski

    Congratulations Don (and Elton)! It's great to hear when people find a special person to spend their lives with.

  20. 20
    Megathieron

    Congratulations to both of you! Finding someone that can make you truly happy is one of the most beautiful things in life, and I hope you have many wonderful years together.

  21. 21
    MAtheist

    Awesome news Don!Congratulations to you and Elton.

  22. 22
    DementedSnake

    Wow, so many people are getting married. Everyone should have just pooled their money together and had a giant party. ;)Congrats Don!

  23. 23
    Bremer

    Congrats. I'm glad for you, Don, and hope you and your partner will continue in your happiness.

  24. 24
    hannanibal

    congratulations Don and Elton. Send me some wedding cake.

  25. 25
    KK_Me

    Congratulations Don! I wish you as a couple all the best in the future!

  26. 26
    JCDClark

    Congrats Don – I wish you and Elton all the best :)

  27. 27
    J

    Aha, congratulations Don and Elton! Matt mentioned your wedding in one of his comments on his Reddit AMA, and I was going to say that, while it's not talked about often, I thought I had seen/heard it mentioned on one episode or another that you were gay. I had posted a reply to him asking how you accomplished it in Texas, but thought better of it in case you didn't want to let it be more widely known.Thank you for updating us and letting us know how you went about it, and hearty congratulations to you and yours. Seems everyone at the ACA is getting married soon/recently!

  28. 28
    Tory Phoenix

    That is Absolutely AWESOME!! Congrats Don, to both you and Elton.

  29. 29
    awesome

    You're right, I had no idea you were gay! Fan-lurker here says many combolations on your wedding!You're one of my favorites and its great to know that wonderful things are happening in your life, and I hope the happiness your work gives lonely atheists across the world returns to you a thousand-fold (while aware that hopes and wishes require action for accomplishment :p).

  30. 30
    Jeff

    Congratulations, I "donated" to the ACA by becoming a member. I hope you have many years of happiness. Jeff

  31. 31
    Scott Balneaves

    Congrats, all the best!

  32. 32
    Thomas

    Congratulations, Don!I always thought the jumping the broom tradition would be fitting for a gay wedding. African Americans used to do it because slaves weren't allowed to get married. They had to find some alternative ritual to express the same sentiment, so they adopted this tradition. Even in states where it is legal, it seems like a fitting way to honor people who don't have that option.

  33. 33
    Yiab

    I'd like to add my congratulations to the heap, Don. I hope Texas (and the US federal gov't) catches up to sanity in this area soon.

  34. 34
    vallwarrior

    Congratulations. Also a big thank you for many great shows.Anita Bryant must be spinning in her grave right now. What? She's not dead? Head explosions are usually fatal.

  35. 35
    Mike Haynes.

    Congratulations Don!

  36. 36
    bribase

    Congratulations!

  37. 37
    Tommykey

    Congrats and best wishes.

  38. 38
    harise

    Congratulations, Don!

  39. 39
    JT

    heap.push(AC_CONGRATULATIONS_INT32);

  40. 40
    Thomas F. Bourque

    I had no idea you were gay, Don! haha Congratulations! I hope you will have long life of happiness together!

  41. 41
    NC

    Hey, that's my anniversary too! Congratulations!

  42. 42
    Raymond

    It's terribleIt's ridiculousIt shouldn't be allowed….getting married to a theist :-pSeriously, congrats to you both.I wish many more years of happiness.

  43. 43
    Nathan

    Minds rarely change, so the death of a generation is often required for true progress. But I have seen many cases of ultra-bigot parents raising quite clear-thinking, progressive children (much to their chagrin, my amusement, and society's benefit).Congratuations Don, and thanks for your ever-informative A.E. topics!

  44. 44
    Michael

    Damn you Don! First you make us miss our show.Then you break the hearts of many women by letting them learn you're homosexual.Finally you go even further on your rampage of terror by announcing that you're married, foiling any hopes for any of the guys wanting you. Stop it already. You've done more than enough, perhapsG even too much.:P, I hope you guys have a happy safe time together and congratulations. :)

  45. 45
    Scott

    That's awesome Don, congratulations!

  46. 46
    Justin B.

    Congrats!

  47. 47
    A-Astrologist

    Ahhhhhh…..gay marriage!!Won't someone please think of the children?In all seriousness, congratulations p.s. it looks like there was a wedding taking place last weekend that I could give a flying hoot about afterall

  48. 48
    gabbylizzie27

    Wow, congratulations Don! I'm SO happy for you! "Old African tradition", eh? So was this an interracial marriage too? AWESOME!! Way to give bigots two swift kicks in the balls at the same time. :D Not to be naggy, but is there any way us folks with no Facebook account can see pictures? :)

  49. 49
    Ricky

    Congratulations! That's fantastic news! And DOMA will disappear soon :-)

  50. 50
    wvbishop

    Congratulations to you both! I wish you many happy years together! Talk your Partner into coming on the show for a quick cameo to talk about how he deals with you being an Atheist :) Okay, that might not be likely, but a good topic to bring up anyway!Again, all the best to you both!

  51. 51
    McKertis

    I'll try and quelch my disgust when i see on on screen from now on.

  52. 52
    Deanna Joy Lyons

    Many happy felicitations to Don and Elton! I'm very excited for you. Getting hitched is a freaking hoot!

  53. 53
    Felix

    I'm not into guys so much (there are a few…) that I would marry one, so I opted for a female human instead. All completely secular, going well, no cheating, no wife-beating, no rules on what she can or can't wear. We've not yet passed the duration of the average marriage, so there's still a little wriggle room for idiots to claim they do better for being "under God".Congatulations, Don! May you two do as well as we are doing.

  54. 54
    mikekoz68

    Don, you are one of my favourite hosts, always smiling, laughing, and looking like you truly enjoy life. You really do represent atheists well.Congratulations on your recent wedding!

  55. 55
    memoryhero

    You iz good peeple, Don Baker!

  56. 56
    Ibis

    Congratulations Don & hubby Elton!Am I looking at the right place? I don't see any wedding pics on the Facebook page linked to in the sidebar.

  57. 57
    bel seslaf

    Congratulations, Don and Elton! I'm really happy for you. And what a coincidence to read this while I'm in Brazil watching our Supreme Court rule in favor of gay civil unions. Most of us here (at least on the internet) are very proud of our justices and happy about their decision. Yay!

  58. 58
    kk

    who woulda thunk you were gay? congratulations.

  59. 59
    Mauricio Duque

    Congratulations, i wish the best for both of you, since we are talking about marriage, here in Brasil, our supreme court just recognized same sex civil unions, is not the same as a marriage, but its a step on its way.Because of that, cristians are shouting here, "family is a man and a woman", the same old shit, but is nice seeing that our goverment can listen to reason from time to time.Good luck, and that the pink unicorn bless your family ^^.

  60. 60
    Guillaume

    I am late, but congratulations.And if you are reading this Tracie Harris, I LOVED your last Atheist Eve web comic.

  61. 61
    tonyD

    Congratulations good luck in the future

  62. 62
    bdwilson1000

    You rock Don. :)

  63. 63
    AzureFrettyArgent

    Congratulations!Much happiness to you both.I bet it was a great party for all.

  64. 64
    Bharvon

    Congratulations Don!

  65. 65
    Marco

    Congratulations from an atheist from Rome, Italy / Vatican Empire :)

  66. 66
    Melizer

    You all have really blown my mind! I had made an assumption, since the recent Time article reported 4 in 10 people think marriage is obsolete, that the enlightened atheist community would have moved past this institution as well. I was sure the 1 atheist in 10 would certainly be one of those 4. (I also don't understand why anyone would ever want to go to Des Moines!)I guess I reject marriage as a Christian idea belonging to those DOMA supporters. Congratulations, though, on doing exactly as you please! That's certainly what I am doing!

  67. 67
    Hairy Chris

    Congratulations! All the best to both of you for the future.We're somewhat behind the times in the UK too (allows same-sex "civil partnerships" but not actual marriages). I could never work out what the problem was. Oh yeah, the various denominations throwing their toys out of the pram might have had something to do with it!

  68. 68
    Guillaume

    @Hairy Chris-It is a darn shame that we are behind here in the UK. That's what happens when you have a State Church. Behind Canada, I could sort of understand. But behind the US? That is downright cowardly. Fuck, they even have gay marriage in Spain!

  69. 69
    RogerWazup007

    Congratulations! Hopefully one day everyone will have equal rights.

  70. 70
    mags

    A very big warm and delighted for the two of you congratulations from all your dedicated fans from The Western Sydney Freethinkers in Australia.

  71. 71
    Wasder

    Thank you for sharing this, Don. I wish all the best to you and your partner.I hope it won't take long for people to be able to have a legally recognized same-sex marriage here, in Russia.

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