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DALLAS When many people marry, they wonder if it will last. But when Jack Evans and George Harris took their vows at Midway Hills Christian Church on Saturday, their love had already withstood the test of time and discrimination.

It was the day they had dreamed of, and after 53 years, it was a day they never thought they'd see.

'Not in a million years,' Harris said.

'Four years ago, it was something that was not fathomable at all,' Evans added. 'There was no hint that this could come about.'

Their committment ceremony won't be recognized as a legal marriage in the State of Texas, but it's signficant because it happened the same week a federal judge struck down the state's law banning same-sex marriage.

'And it's just so incredible that everything nationwide... everything in Austin has all come together in such a short period of time,' Evans said.

It also comes at a time churches across the country are re-examining their stance on same-sex marriage.

Saturday's ceremony was performed by the Rev. Bill McElvaney, a retired United Methodist Church pastor who risks losing his pension and credentials because the church does not condone gay marriage.

'It means the world to me to be in this historic event,' said Fran McElvaney, the pastor's wife. 'I have waited for this day to come.'

'You often wonder what you are doing here... what's your purpose? And we talked about that for a long time, and maybe this is it,' Harris said.

Evans and Harris added they were pleased to see that so many guest ministers attended their ceremony. They said it was encouraging and made them feel secure that they did the right thing.

E-mail cwade@wfaa.com

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