I’m getting married today

Rob Tisinai

September 27th, 2014

Today, at 5pm, at the beautiful Los Angeles Arboretum, I’m marrying Will, the love of my life and partner of six and a half years.

I was 46 when I met Will, and resigned to being single forever. But on On April 3, 2008, Will saw me at a country-western bar called Oil Can Harry’s and asked me to two-step. At the end of the night, I gave him my number. Will promised to call the next day, and in a complete break from standard L.A. protocol, did exactly that. We had civil, slightly stilted first date until the subject of Battlestar Galactica came up, which was about to begin a new season. My memory can be a sieve, but Will remembers every damn thing, so we geeked out in excitement as he reminded me where the last season left off, and our chemistry erupted.

I was jaded, though. I had unconsciously decided first dates never go anywhere, so I didn’t follow up. In another gutsy break from protocol, Will called me on Thursday: We had a great time, why didn’t you call? I could have decided he was crazy (and I would have been a little bit right). but instead I asked him out. We spent every weekend together after that. I didn’t know it at the time, but two months later, on the same day I told him I didn’t want to see anyone else, our puppy was born. Another two months after that I told Will I wanted a dog and would he like to come along, and that’s when we rescued an eight-week old pup we named Lucas. It might sound strange, but four months into a relationship is a crucial time for deciding whether to go forward, and Lucas gave us something to focus on that wasn’t just about us. It also gave us a chance to see each other in a new light as we cared for and worried over and loved the hell out of that dog.

In November, Prop 8 passed and I became suddenly political. We carried signs at the in-your-face rallies. In December, though, I somehow got roped into organizing a peaceful, candlelit vigil for marriage equality. Will wanted to help, but he was a full-time student with a full-time job. I didn’t want to burden him so I asked for one thing: the name of the LGBT liaison at the Los Angeles Police Department. Will is Will, so I ended up getting three pages of notes from exhaustive interviews with police staff. At the moment, this confirmed bachelor learned the real difference between a boyfriend and a partner.

In the years that followed, we survived a full kitchen remodel, bicycled from San Francisco to Los Angeles three times for charity, and welcomed into our home Chloe, the other best dog ever. Then on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court affirmed marriage equality in the state of California. That night, one of us (I won’t say who!) emphatically said, You’re going to marry me, and the other replied, Yes I am.

I want to thank all of you for making that happen. We’ve seen a lot of controversy lately among the heavy hitters over who deserves credit for our tidal wave of victory, but I know the answer: You do. I’ve put in thousands of hours toward the cause, and I like to think I’ve had an effect, but it’s likely events would have proceed just the same way without me. And it might have proceeded just the same way without you, too. But it wouldn’t have happened at all without us. If each of us had thought, I’m just one person, what contribution can I make — and many did think exactly that — then none of this would be happening. The chorus of equality might have been able to lose any one voice and still sing on, but our music soared because of the people who did show up. And who kept showing up.

I remember canvassing door-to-door for the right to marriage, and I interviewed one woman who seemed solidly against us. The conversation seemed pointless, until I closed it with the question we’re supposed to ask no matter what: “This may come up again on the ballot. Could we count on your vote?”


That stunned me.  “Really?  Why is that?”

“Because I see people fighting for it and I see how important it is to you.”

That was you. Even if you were just one in a crowd chanting a slogan. Even if all you did was share your story at work or bring your partner to an office party. Even if you just stood fast and said, That’s not cool, when someone made a stupid joke about gays.

That was you. So thank you. And please, wish us the best on this most important day of our lives.

Ben in oakland

September 27th, 2014


Thank you Rob, for all that you have done for the movement. Along with Timothy and Jim, there is no one that I would rather read or hear from. ( I will leave myself out of your August company). Your clear headed ness, you ability to think, have taught me much.

Paul Douglas

September 27th, 2014

Congrats Rob!
Marriage is great.


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations! I’m all verklempt!


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations. I hope you treat yourselves to a nice honeymoon… if not now, then later.


September 27th, 2014

But you made my day! :-)


September 27th, 2014

Altough, in my conservative coutry is a refeferendum about civil union and adoption. :-(

neil h

September 27th, 2014

Many congratulations and best wishes to you both for many happy years together!


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations Rob and Will. 24 years ago I said I do to my husband here in Denmark. 24 years later it is still the best thing I have ever done in my life. Wishing you both many wonderful years together.

David Jones

September 27th, 2014

Thank you for all you do.
Congratulations, Rob and Will, and may your days be filled with joy.

together with my husband 36 years, married 6 years (California 2008)


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations, Rob and Will! Have a wonderful wedding!

David Wachter

September 27th, 2014

Congratulations to you and Will!

My husband and I married in San Francisco last November after a 28-year engagement. Somehow, after that ten-minute ceremony, it felt different, and we knew we really had become a united team, and eventually even our benighted state of Arizona will have to recognize it!

Tonight we will be celebrating the marriage of a couple from our Episcopal church. They had their civil wedding in California, and tonight they will celebrate in their church community, with choir and organ and whatever other joyful noise can be mustered up.


September 27th, 2014

The impossibility of getting married even a few years ago makes “same-sex” marriage so much more surprising and special than straight marriages (which often suffer from all the ROM-COM cliches we’ve come to hate). I’m sure yours will be an event you’ll never forget!

The Fatherhood Fight for marriage equality is amazing on two fronts. First, not long ago, high-profile lawyers and public leaders would have preferred to live on another planet than be associated with gay marriage. Second, it says something about the personalities involved who crave recognition at the expense of anyone who may have contributed to the effort.

Nowhere in the world do lawyers hide their light under a bushel – but in Canada, I can’t name a single lawyer involved in any court proceedings. We do, however, celebrate the 10 year anniversaries of the successful plaintiffs in each province who probably sacrificed more than any lawyer or lobby group.


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations! Best wishes for your life together!

(and thank you for your work in CA! – we got married there in 2008.)

danny in WestsideLA

September 27th, 2014


Let me take this opportunity not only to congratulate you on this special day, but to acknowledge all the work you do with Box Turtle. You indeed have made a difference in the world with what you do.

My partner and I are coming up on 28 years together next week. We married in Ottawa, Canada the minute it was legal back in 2003 with two other longtime couples, one of 12 years and the other of 15. It was a gay wedding weekend attended by roughly 50 friends and family, never to be forgotten. When I met my husband all those years ago at 23, I dreamed of a life together, growing old with one another. And here we are. It’s not always been easy, but worth it.

I love the Arboretum. I grew up a few miles away and used to love to play in the jungle playing Tarzan and fantasizing about being on Fantasy Island (two shows that were shot there).

I wish you all the happiness life has to offer. I hope your day is everything you want it to be, and your continued years together, the blessing that it’s been to us.

Big Love!

danny on
L.A.s Westside


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations Rob and Will, i love it when true love comes along and partners become spouses! as awesome as today is, i hope the best is still to come. may you have many blessed years together.


September 27th, 2014

Mazel Tov!


September 27th, 2014

Congratulations, and best wishes to the two of you.

laura macwaters

September 27th, 2014



September 27th, 2014

Could you possibly get more romantic than geeking out over BSG? I don’t think so!

Congrats, what an adorable story.

JB Taylor

September 27th, 2014

Congratulations! All the best for you & Will, I wish you continued love and happiness and support through thick and thin!

Timothy Kincaid

September 27th, 2014

I’m all smiles for you today!

Gene in L.A.

September 27th, 2014

All the best to you both.

Kyle Michel Sullivan

September 27th, 2014

All the best to both of you, and wishes for a long and happy life together.


September 27th, 2014

Hmmm… Oil Can Harry’s has NEVER been a country-western bar. Between 1997 and last night, it’s been a gay dance bar (pop/house/techno). Perhaps you met your partner at Rainbow Cattle Co. (now closed)?

Jim Burroway

September 27th, 2014

AustinTX, You Texans are so adorable. Oil Can Harry’s has been a fixture in Studio City since 1968. :-) Although, to be fair, the one in Austin was the only one I knew about until a few years ago.

(It’s also the name of a chain of oil-change stations, although I don’t think that’s where Will asked Rob to two-step. I could be wrong though.)

Congratulations, Rob and Will!


September 27th, 2014

Rob, I was postponning getting back to this website, expecting to read something very negative and terrible against gay people. But I find this great news instead :) You help us all with your work… you deserve all the best.

Leonardo Ricardo

September 27th, 2014

HAPPY EVERYTHING (looks like you have a good start)! FELCIDADES from Guatemala and abrazos for Lucas too!


September 27th, 2014

Just because you’re getting married you still have to walk the dogs regularly.

And I hope you are both walking them together for many, many years.


September 27th, 2014



September 28th, 2014

Congratulations! May you two continue to have the most wondrous life together.
Me and my husband for 24 years send you guys all the best.
And always thank you for the fabulous work here at BTB.

Joseph Singer

September 28th, 2014

Best to you both!

enough already

September 28th, 2014

Congratulations! Long life and happiness to the both of you.

Regan DuCasse

September 28th, 2014

I used to know George Clooney (that’s a long story).
But I was not the least bit surprised that he’s marrying a human rights lawyer and advocate.
George has been one of many high profile celebs who gave their hearts, wealth and articulation to marriage equality and much more for the LGT.
He has a big heart, he’s a good man.

I know this about Rob. Rob and I met because he came to MY defense from a cyber mob, led by a virulently anti gay man willing to commit all kinds of libel against me.
Rob found him, called HIM out and made him and the attack dogs back off.
I had to meet the man who was my knight, and so I met HIS loving and remarkable significant other, Will.
I thought they were movie star handsome and charming. So strong, and committed to social good.

But it’s since I was a kid, fighting against the detestable Briggs initiative in CA, that brought me to knowing couples like Rob and Will.
More than half my life, it’s been a walk, run, stumble…back up again journey with many, that their wedding day could happen.
It’s ME who is thankful, humbled…loving every day of it.

THIS is what us allies lived for too.
In a little less than two weeks, I’ll be attending the wedding of another same sex couple.
Two remarkable women and their cute young sons.
I also met them online, the way I met Will and Rob.
Through the common bonds of gay folks and their allies.
We who are a part of your lives, have joyfully invested in not just equality, but love and hope.
We are all the better for it. So thank YOU, to my extended family.
Your wedding day is a PROUD day!


September 28th, 2014

Congratulations! And best wishes for the future.

Bobby the Kid

September 28th, 2014

Congratulations to you both. My partner and I met two-stepping at Oil Can Harry’s in Studio City 24 years ago. It has been a terrific, exciting, loving journey that I hope is as enduring and rewarding for the two of you as it has been for us. The Arboretum is also very special as we lived about two miles from there, and it’s where our son proposed to our daughter-in-law some decade and a half ago. Again, congratulations and many happy more years together.

Maurice Lacunza

September 28th, 2014

How many times BTB makes me cry…and again today. In 2008 I joined the nation wide voice to help change the laws. And here we are; a happy ending for some! I am thrilled for your happiness. Most times I would say this is trite, but truly, God Bless you both.

Richard Rush

September 28th, 2014

Rob, thanks for sharing the sketch of your life since meeting Will in 2008. I’m so pleased to hear that the two of you are taking your relationship to the next level.

And thanks, too, for all you do, but I’m sure that some of that thanks needs to go to Will because, if you are at all like me, you couldn’t be fully who you are without him in your life (my partner’s name is Will, also).


September 28th, 2014

@Jim Burroway: Ahh, thanks. This whole long time, I didn’t know there was another Oil Can Harry’s OR Henry’s. Though I’d heard a rumor that they had once pursued a small franchise. Of course, every town has a “Splash”, a “Rod” and an “Eagle”. These two OCH’s, as unique as the name is, don’t seem to be related. Their web pages are mum about each other. To be fair, I did Google them before my post above. OCH-LA only shows up as the first link on the second page.

Straight Grandmother

September 28th, 2014

Hey congratulations you two old love birds! I hope your wedding was AMAZING!!! I’m glad you made an honest man out of him, LOL!

This is why we fight, so that Rob can marry Will, and he does!
Let Freedom Ring!


September 29th, 2014

Congrats, guys!

Live Long and Prosper.



September 29th, 2014

Mazel Tov!


September 29th, 2014

Congratulations, and enjoy!


September 29th, 2014

Congratulations to you both!! Hope you have a beautiful evening for the wedding and a wonderful life together. (Just for the record, things do seem different after getting married, or at least it did for me, but all in a good way!)


September 30th, 2014

Congratulations to both of you. And thanks for sharing so much of yourself.

I felt very at home reading your story since it has so many parallels to my own. Both my husband and myself, though, were married to women earlier in life and had gone through lengthy self- discovery and acceptance periods. Also, I had grown children and grandchildren coming along.

After years of feeling myself stuck as a perpetual single and frightened about coming out to some family, etc., and having also become “jaded” after too many failed first dates, this took a completely different course. We shared so much that it seemed that our time together just flew, and he was clearly not going to let me loose from the beginning.

We were married in the short period before proposition 8 kicked in. And everything has seemed to flow throughout the relationship. My children liked him from the beginning and the grandchildren all choose to call him grandpa. And even my ex-wife has become a close friend and we host family gatherings together. So, rather than ending up the “dirty old man” I’d come to believe, these have been the best ten years of my life!

We are very busy people and we have learned how important regular evenings and vacations together are for us. That special time together makes a huge difference in keeping the relationship alive!

So continue to enjoy each other and share and discover life together. You are both very fortunate! And nothing but good can lie ahead for you if you nurture it together.


September 30th, 2014

Congratulations, and I wish many happy years for you to come!


October 1st, 2014


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