There's a marriage rush in California as licenses forare available starting Monday night in some counties.
Among the same-sex couples getting their marriage licenses this week are actor George Takei, best known as Mr. Sulu on "Star Trek" and long-time partner Brad Altman.
"Tomorrow is the big day when we get our license at long last," Takei told The Early Show's Julie Chen. "We have a date, it's going to be in September. We wanted to give ourselves some months to go through the delicious anguish of planning for it."
It was Altman who proposed first.
"Actually, George was watching TV and the news flash came on and I dropped to my knees and I said 'George, will you marry me?" Altman recounts.
Takei's reply? "Darn it... you beat me to it!" The actor says he was eating a sandwich at the time and could not get the words out fast enough.
The men have been in a committed relationship with each other for 21 years years. So why is it important now to call it a marriage?
"Well, because it is a marriage," urges Takei. "You know, they can find other names for it, but separate but equal just doesn't make it."
"I don't want to be domestically partnered to George Takei, I want to be married to George Takei," says Altman. "And beginning today in California, I can legally marry George Takei. I'm the happiest guy in California today because I can marry George."
"Well, I'm the second happiest then," adds Takei.
Chen asked Altman how much of this is about making a political statement and how much is it about simply declaring their dedication and devotion to one another?
"It's not about a political statement, it's about legally in California -- the California Supreme Court says everybody is equally entitled to marriage. This is the first time -- George and I have been together more than 21 years in good times and bad times through sickness and health and for the first time we can legally marry each other and I'm just thrilled."
"To us it's about love," says Takei. "But it's the climate we are entering that makes it political. For us, it's love and we get to make it a marriage."
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