LIMA — When Brian Molitor II returned home from the Allen County Probate Court Wednesday, he burst into tears.
“I never thought this day would happen,” he said. “I thought I’d be old and gray.”
Molitor’s tears were prompted by his marriage license, issued to him and his boyfriend of four years, Andrew DeRan. Their license is the first issued to a same-sex couple in Allen County since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a week ago that same-sex marriage is permitted in all 50 states.
Molitor and DeRan’s marriage license follows other licenses issued to same-sex couples in Hancock and Van Wert counties. However, there has not been a large rush of couples taking advantage, with just a second license issued Thursday in Allen County.
For both Molitor and DeRan, this is the culmination of a lifetime of hopes and dreams.
“We met through an app,” Molitor said. “We both had the same things on our profiles, that we were looking for long-term relationships and not trying to hook up with anybody.”
“I don’t think it’s really hit me,” DeRan said. “I’ve dreamt about it for so long, just wanting to be a normal married couple, I don’t think it will really hit me until the wedding.”
“I’ve known since I was 9 that I was gay,” Molitor said. “I’ve always wanted to get married. I’ve always wanted to just be a normal person, have a family, have a house. He just fell into my life at the perfect time.”
Molitor and DeRan are looking forward to taking advantage of all of the benefits that come with marriage.
“He can be put on my insurance,” DeRan said. “We can have a house in both our names. We can buy things together.”
“If he were in the hospital and couldn’t say anything, I wouldn’t even be able to go see him,” Molitor said. “Now I can.”
Allen County Probate Court administrator Tim Hamman said the phones have been pretty quiet on the issue.
“We’ve had maybe about a dozen calls so far,” Hamman said. “It hasn’t been a large number.”
Putnam County has not had any calls or applications made for a same-sex marriage license, and Auglaize County has had one application sent out but not yet returned.
Molitor and DeRan hope that as more licenses are issued, it will change how society views same-sex couples.
“We can be in the mall holding hands and still get looked at funny or have people say things under their breath,” Molitor said. “I hope this opens people’s eyes. I am no less of a citizen than anyone else.”
“I think we’re on the right path to be able to get there,” DeRan said. “It’s a big stepping stone.”
Molitor and DeRan, who will take Molitor’s name, plan on having a small ceremony in mid-August, followed by a larger celebration later in the fall.
“It’ll have shoving cake in the faces and everything,” Molitor said.Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.