OR Teacher of Year marries longtime partner

OR Teacher of Year marries longtime partner

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by Mike Benner, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 8:42 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 20 at 8:57 AM

PORTLAND -- What happened Monday has been years in the making for Brett Bigham and Mike Turay.  They have been dating since 2008, but they have known each other for much longer.

"Mike asked me on a date 10 years before our first date and I said no because I thought he was too young," said Bigham. "Ten years later he got the guts to ask me again."

The two fell in love, but Oregon law made it illegal for them to marry until now.  For Bigham, Oregon's Teacher of the Year, marrying his soul mate meant being a pioneer of sorts.

"When I got the nomination for Teacher of the Year I did research and there aren't many gay Teachers of the Year," said Bigham. "There have been a couple."

Even fewer of those teachers are married.  Bigham likely became the first.

"I feel great," said Bigham.

"We've been domestic partners since 2008," Turay added. "We've been waiting ever since to make 'honest men' of each other."

It happened on a day that will go down in Oregon state history.  Bigham and Turay were among more than 70 couples to get married Monday at the Melody Ballroom.

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