SYLVANIA, Ohio — Four years ago this week, some same sex couples rushed to the Lucas County Courthouse because they could legally get married for the first time.
"It was a whirlwind! Everyone from the media was there. I didn't need a wedding videographer, I didn't need a wedding photographer. Everybody else was taking the pictures for us and we have the videos from the news channels and it as wonderful," Jym Shipman said.
Four years ago Jym Shipman and husband Don Weiler were captured on camera during the happiest moment of their lives,as the first same-sex couple legally married in Lucas County.
"It just made you feel like a part of society, a 'normal' part of society and being accepted was a big deal," Shipman said.
Their marriage and life after is just one short chapter of a 24-year-relationship. They met in 1990 while working at the Betsy Ross diner in West Toledo, but it was five years before their first date.
"I left him a note at the restaurant that said 'would you like to meet outside the restaurant sometime?' and he accepted," Shipman said.
At that time, holding hands in public was a radical act for same sex couples, but that didn't stop them from moving in together four years later and building a life.
"I think that's when we realized that was this and we were going to be a partnership together," Shipman said.
They became domestic partners in 2007, traveled the world together, and while Jym hoped they could one day be married, Don never believed it could happen.
"People were becoming a little more accepting or so it seemed, I thought, this could happen, this could happen," Shipman said.
It did on June 26 2015. They got to the courthouse as quickly as possible, with Jym still in his swim trunks from work and legally got married.
"The shame of being gay and growing up as I did, it kind of melted away," Shipman said.
This year is Jym's first time remembering their anniversary alone after Don lost his battle with esophageal cancer earlier this year. He can still look back on the day where they made history and remember the love of his life.
"Donald is the most amazing man in the world, and I wouldn't be where I am today without him by my side," Shipman said.