Char & Emily McGaughy didn’t wait a bit to get legally wed in Texas

MarriageSketchMARK STOKES  | Illustrator

Names and ages:  Char McGaughy, 31 and Emily McGaughy, 32.

Occupation:  Co-owners of Gold Dust Tattoos & Fine Art on Lower Greenville where Char is an artist. Emily is also a freelance writer for

Spotted at:  Dallas County Courthouse, June 26, 2015.

How long together?  5-1/2 years.

Although Char and Emily had a commitment ceremony with close friends and family at Winfrey Point on White Rock Lake in May of 2013, they rushed to the courthouse on Marriage Equality Day to make it official. “We’d been waiting for this day for two years,” Emily says. “When we woke up that morning and learned that SCOTUS had made the right decision, we rescheduled our whole day so we could be a part of this historic day, which was full of hugs, tears, laughter and so much love. Being there and celebrating with so many other couples who’d been waiting just like us was an amazing thing. We got to witness the first legal same sex marriage in Dallas when Jack and George’s ceremony was performed. We’ll never forget it.”

What was the process like?  “It was pretty seamless, actually. It was clear that John Warren and the staff at the clerk’s office had been preparing for this outcome. Everyone was patient and kind and supportive. Our judge was so sweet and happy to perform our ceremony. She cried with us!”

What does it mean to be legally recognized as a couple in your home state?  “It’s a feeling I’m not sure we can articulate; we’ve been waiting so long to have our marriage recognized. It still feels surreal sometimes. We’ve been committed to one another for some time now and married in our hearts, but there is a confidence that comes with knowing that is finally mirrored in the eyes of the law. We know that there is much work to be done before we reach full equality, but this has been an important step. But we no longer lose sleep at night wondering if the other will be taken care if something should happen.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 31, 2015.