Gay Utah State Senator Proposes To Long-time Partner During Speech Celebrating DOMA Defeat (Video)

Openly gay Utah State Senator Jim Dabakis proposed to his long-time partner of 26 years the day the Supreme Court struck down DOMA and legalized gay marriages in California.

Reports the AP:

Democratic state Sen. Jim Dabakis popped the question to partner Stephen Justesen Wednesday at a rainbow flag-draped rally at Salt Lake City’s Club Sound. The two met 26 years ago.

“Stephen, after all these years, will you marry me?” Dabakis said over the whoops of an approving crowd.

Dabakis, who took office earlier this year, is an art dealer and founding chair of the Utah Pride Center. In 2011, he became the first openly gay person to lead a state party in Utah.

Just hours after the high court on Wednesday struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage between a man and a woman, and cleared the way for same-sex unions in California, Dabakis stepped on stage at the celebration.

He opened by saying the gay marriage issue was “very deeply, deeply personal” for him, and introduced the crowd to “a wonderful man” he met nearly three decades ago.

That’s when Dabakis pulled out a ring he said he’d purchased that day and put it on Justensen’s finger.

Justesen told the crowd Dabakis had given him a different ring years ago that he still wears, but “this is super fantastic to have another one.”

Dabakis told The Salt Lake Tribune the proposal was a spur-of-the-moment decision and a wedding date hasn’t been set.