Partners Tying Knot Try Loophole In Texas Ceremony

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – When Mark Reed and Dante Walkup tied the knot last month in Texas, they found a loophole and made it legal.

“It was the most important, exciting day of my life,” Reed said.

While their boots were firmly planted at the “W” hotel in Dallas, an officiate in the District of Columbia legalized their union through SKYPE.

“From a legal perspective, it’s a bit gimmicky,” Dallas gay rights attorney Rob Wiley said.

Though the marriage may be binding in D.C. and a handful of other states, Wiley said it still won’t be recognized in Texas.

“That was a very heartfelt and moving wedding,” Wiley said. “But in Texas, it’s illegal, which in many ways is a real injustice. If one of those was in a car crash, his partner wouldn’t have the right to see him or make medical decisions because of that marriage.”

Reed and Walkup are also partners in a multi-million dollar lighting business. The two were used to big and bold creations. So, they said they decided to do the same thing with their wedding.

“We always do things in a big way,” Walkup said.

But while they exchanged their vows, they said they also wanted to shed some light on their cause.

“When people see you’ve taken that extra time and effort and everything like that, it’s a little more closer to commitment and promises and being legal,” Walkup said.

How close that is, however, may be measured by the overwhelming vote against gay marriage in Texas in 2005. Erin Leu an attorney with the Liberty Institute said, “The people of Texas have already spoken on this Issue and they’ve spoken very clearly. 76 percent have decided that marriage is between only one male and one female.”

The men created a video of their SKYPE ceremony with more background information on themselves and their cause. Click here to watch that.


One Comment

  1. rebecca freeman says:

    I was not happy to hear this story. It seemed that you were glorifying the ability to find loopholes in a law that was created by a majority of texans.

    1. Michael GetEqual Diviesti says:

      Rebecca, why should “a majority of Texans” be allowed to keep these two Texans from partaking in a basic civil right? You should be standing up for them lest someone step in and vote out a civil right that you hold dear!

  2. Michael Piazza says:

    Gay marriage is NOT illegal in Texas. The Cathedral of Hope UCC and dozens of other churches marry same gender couples all the time. It is NOT illegal. What is illegal is giving same gender tax payers the same rights as heterosexual tax payers.

    These two law abiding citizens had every right to get married. What is wrong is that in Texas heterosexual tax payers get SPECIAL RIGHTS while these gentlemen and other gay taxpayers are discriminated against.

    1. Jay Collins says:

      True marriage doesn’t depend on a system to recognize it. It is a relationship between two individuals and GOD. So long as both individuals uphold their commitment, GOD always holds onto His.

      Rather than trying to force the world to validate us, we should just be thankful that we live in a land that doesn’t hunt us down and kill us for being different.

      May GOD bless all of these readers today!

  3. Pat O'Daniel says:

    Ib the state of Texas only marriage betwen oen man and one woman is considered legal, thank God.

    1. DJ says:

      God doesn’t need your thanks. A bigot like you he doesn’t need your hatred or thanks.

      1. Betty says:

        It’s not hatred. I know you all would like to see it that way but it is just true. I don’t know what kind of Bible gay people are reading. That does not speak to the issues of gay men or women. If you read it right you would know the truth and not be decieved by your lust. God states that it is an abomination..(Lev.18:22; Lev.20:13 & 1 Corinthians 6:9 etc. Read & understand this is not all of the scriptures on the subject.

      2. Jimmy D. says:

        Bigot= n Obstinate and intolerant adherent of a creed or view.

        Yeah that’s me, but I don’t see where hatred is in there. Sounds like your a Bigot also DJ, just on the other side of the issue. (the wrong side I might add)

  4. Teresa says:

    76% of Texans believe marriage is between one man and one woman so why do you waste our time on a story of this nature. Make your news noteworthy, not disgusting.

    1. Shelly says:

      WHY do u think this is news worthy??? Why would u bother to tell a story about a “wedding” that is NOT accepted in this state? I think this story was disgusting. I am starting to become dissappointed in ur coverage. I may have to start watching Fox news.

    2. LS says:

      What would you rather see on the news? Constant car accidents, deaths, etc. Marriage is a happy moment and cause for celebration; let them enjoy their moment. Gay rights are coming, it is only a matter of time. Be open to love all no matter their sexual orientation, otherwise you may miss out on wonderful friends.

    3. Jude SafeSchools Stevens says:

      It’s newsworthy simply to show the lack of education and compassion of people like you Teresa. Your comment makes this whole story worthwhile. Open your mind and heart. Learn a little. It’s really ok. Gay people are just like everyone else.

    4. Michael GetEqual Diviesti says:

      What is disgusting is that these two law abiding, tax paying, business owning, job creating members of society have to find loopholes in order to protect their relationship when any heterosexual couple can spend $45 even if they met just 5 minutes ago and gain 1380 benefits and protections that are dependent on marital status.

  5. Eunice Robinson says:

    This was NOT news at all. Sounds like y’all are in favor of gay marriages, so please do us the favor of moving to a different state.

    1. Dj says:

      what a closed mind.

    2. Betty says:

      I agree with you. It’s getting harder to watch Television for the maddness.

  6. Duane says:

    It was outrageous for the people of Texas to put the civil rights of a minority to a popular vote. The people of Texas are delusional if they think their vote is the end of the matter.

    1. Allen says:

      Benjamin Franklin said that democracy is like two wolves and a sheep voting on lunch. Thats why our founding fathers implemented the Bill of Rights, to protect minorities.

  7. Fiffi Blumberg says:

    If the City of Dallas is ‘seeking’ additional revenue—just think of how much $$$/payola could be generated!!! Have you ever attended a ‘gay’ wedding and was it not perfectly done & exquisite—which equates to a healthy budget/ expenditure?
    BTW—what is the FEAR!!!!!!!! WHAT IS THE FEAR? WHY FEAR LOVE!!!!!!!!! WHY???

  8. Daron Crider says:

    Good for them! Maybe they will find another loophole that makes it legal in Texas.

    1. Betty says:

      I pray that it never happen!!

  9. Betty Sloan says:

    Stop the maddness. We don’t want to see this awful mess. Why do we have men and women? Men can’t have children. God knew what He was doing. The Bible says that before the end of time there would be seven women to one man, now I know why. They will either be in jail , on drugs or gay. Way to go Texas!!! This is just like any other sin (lying, stealing, killing, adultery, etc). These men are confused about who they are. If you check it out something was very wrong in their life. No father figure or daddy made him feel less than a man. Or maybe there were no girlfriends to show them respect as men.Something went terribly wrong.

    1. Michael GetEqual Diviesti says:

      Betty writes “This is just like any other sin (lying, stealing, killing, adultery, etc).” /// But, Betty, in the state of Texas and every other state, even if a man fraudulently marries 30 women at once and then murders them and is convicted of that horrible crime, he can still get married, while in jail, while on death row to the woman of his choosing so long as she agrees. Why do you defend his fundamental civil right to get married but not these two law abiding men who just so happen to be in love?

  10. Cindy says:

    Two men marrying that is just plain nasty. Stop trying to ride on the civil rights movement

    1. Jude SafeSchools Stevens says:

      Bigotry and hate are nasty.

  11. Dj says:

    Congrats Guys!!!!!!

    God bless you.

  12. D. Cayres says:

    I thought every person was to be treated as an equal. If the two men’s “pursuit of happiness,” meant tying the knot, who are you or me to judge them? I think the Supreme Court should protect them in their endeavor and strike-down the fear-based ban on same sex marriage. This “breeder” congratulates Mark and Dante, and wishes them many years of happy, harmonious prosperity. Good luck, gentlemen.

  13. D. cayres says:

    Fear is powerful. Simple people are afraid of what they can’t understand. If something doesn’t make sense to them, they want it gone. Luckily, there are some among us who don’t allow fear to be the pinnacle that can’t be overcome. We wan’t to explore, and LEARN, and discover. You know, the type of people that end up in the REAL history books.

  14. TJ says:

    All I can say is live and let live. People who stand behind the Bible with their outspoken convictions should continue to trust God and just let him be the judge. Life is too short and precious to waste fighting over issues that do no personally concern you. I think its better if we just open our hearts instead. God is watching. Hatred, bigotry, and self-righteousness has no place in his kingdom.

  15. MY OWN LIFE says:

    Rob Wiley is wrong about e legality all these guys need is a POWER OF ATTORNEY and WILL

    Live your own life I am sure everybody need to “worry” with the own life not about these two guys!!

    1. Jude SafeSchools Stevens says:

      They need for more than power of attorney and a will. They cannot get each other’s Medicare, Social Security, tax free inheritance. There are 1138 rights given to married couples under Federal Law. None of these are available to same sex couples, even in states where same sex marriage is legal. We say marriage is a state by state issue but the legal benefits of marriage are at a Federal level.

      Honestly, how does gay people getting married impact anyone in their daily life? It doesn’t. That’s why every court has ruled in favor of it. Get the facts.

  16. Unclepudd says:

    Sad day when CBS considers this “NEWS”…

  17. Andrew says:

    Good for them, and I wish them all the best. Shame on anyone trying to control other folks personal lives.

  18. Just Another Gay Taxpayer says:

    Great story 11! Is it news? When gay men renting big ballrooms and kissing and skyping all at the same time? Yup, that’s BIG news in TX.

    However, it is NOT illegal to get married in TX. The state of TX does not issue civil marriage licenses to same sex couples, but traditional marriage (you know, like in a church with a preacher and a cross and all) is legal and there are churches in TX that perform such marriages.

    But on the economic front, my partner and I spent a large sum of TX $$$$$$ in Toronto last year on our wedding. Our family and friends spent more $$$$ to travel and stay during the weekend as well. We would have spent all those dollars in TX except the citizens here voted for a constitutional amendment withholding from us the right of civil marriage–this was promoted as being what god wanted by christian ministers all over the state! Of course, those same christian ministers (not many other vote wrangling preachers in TX besides christian ones) also tell their parishioners that gay men are awful folks because we are allegedly sexually promiscuous. But, let us want to marry and promise fidelity to each other–just like the good christian folk of Texas– and god doesn’t want that either. Hmm, there’s just no pleasin’ some folks I guess, especially not christians.

  19. sl says:

    There is no loophole, as far as the state of Texas is concerned, this is not a marriage. Maybe in D. C. but not here.

  20. Jude SafeSchools Stevens says:

    I am personal friends with these men, I’m straight and have been married for 33 years. I support love for all couples. Gay couples deserve the same rights as straight couples. I could care less what was written by people 1500-2000 years ago in the Bible. It’s people’s interpretation of God written in their time, their culture. Nothing more.
    No one chooses to be gay. No one chooses to be straight. Mark and Dante are two of the most amazing, kind and generous people I have ever known. I am so proud to call them my friends.

  21. Victoria says:

    So many people have no concept of US and Texas history. Our teachers and text books really glossed over some serious civil rights issues. Anyone out there familiar with anti-miscegenation laws? They existed in 41 states for 3 centuries. If you have trouble looking up what I’m talking about. Miscegenation is interracial marriage and these laws stayed around until the Supreme Court, in 1967 (I was alive, were any of you?) ruled these laws were unconstitutional. Anti-Miscegenation became a law in Texas in 1837. The rights of adults to marry one another is not an issue for popular vote. Our country did not leave it up to the good people of the south as to whether or not Rosa Parks got to sit in front. You people who are so riled about two guys being happy. What are you so afraid of?

  22. jeremiah trent says:

    The Bible does say that marriage is between one man and one woman until natural death. Biblical teaching does not allow for divorce: what God has joined together, let no one separate. What it does allow is love God and love your neighbor and judge not!

  23. Philip Wilmut says:

    All the right winged bigots need to go watch FOX and let us intelligent and educated people watch NBC, ABC, and CBS.

  24. Russ says:

    Forgetting all the moral and religious issues here, I wonder if this marriage has a legal standing anywhere. The couple was in Texas where it does not and since they weren’t present at the ceremony in DC where it would be legal, seems pretty iffy there but I’m not a legal scholar. Unless this was mostly for the publicity, seems like they could have just made some vows to each other in front of friends and accomplished just as much legally.

  25. Hemroidious says:


  26. Jesus Diaz says:

    Marriage is a LEGAL right, not a damn religious right. It’s so funny to me how people try to quote the bible when they argue against Same sex marriage. Put down the bible and get a life haters because those arguments fall on deaf ears.

  27. Zoe Nicholson says:

    You can have all the conversation you like but the reality is that these two men have made history and will be recognized forever as the ones whose marriage is the final tipping point. All of us are at the intersection where we can only go forward.

  28. SONIA says:


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