Grand County issues first same-sex marriage license
Matt Willprecht and Kevin Siegrist are very much a normal married couple.
Siegrist is the organized, business minded one, making sure all their ducks are in a row.
Willprecht is the adventurous one; the source of spontaneity.
That is to say, their relationship possesses that quintessential dynamic of formality tempered with fun.
“I’m more like Greg,” Siegrist quipped. “He’s more like Dharma.”
And just like a normal married couple, they have aspirations.
They’d like to travel to Europe and maybe, some day, raise a family.
Now, Colorado state law recognizes their relationship for what it is: a marriage.
On Monday, Oct. 20, Willprecht and Siegrist became the first and, as of Tuesday morning, only same-sex couple to obtain a marriage license in Grand County.
“We don’t have to worry about the what-ifs anymore,” Siegrist said. “So it feels good in that nobody can deny it.”
The what-if’s Siegrist refers to are the uncertainties associated with civil unions which, among other shortcomings, aren’t always recognized from one state to the next, and don’t provide federal benefits.
Though Siegrist proposed in 2011, the two had to wait for the law to catch up.
“The thing that really made me upset was we couldn’t get the same benefits,” Willprecht said.
When the Colorado Civil Union Act passed in March 2013, Siegrist started making secret plans for the couple’s wedding.
It wasn’t until a bike ride around Devil’s Thumb Ranch in August 2013, about a week before the wedding, that Siegrist broke the news to Willprecht.
“I was like, ‘Oh he’s probably just joking with me,’” Willprecht said. “Then, when I talked to my mom, she said, ‘yea, we’re flying in next week.’ I was like, ‘Oh, this is really happening.’”
For all intents and purposes, Willprecht and Siegrist were wed on Aug. 17, 2013, in Sawmill Meadow at Devils Thumb Ranch, where both Willprecht and Siegrist work.
It was a “nice and simple” affair, Willprecht said, with both families and a few friends.
“I just wanted it simple, non-religious,” Siegrist said. “I didn’t want a big gay wedding.”
The two had an impromptu rehearsal dinner at Azteca and exchanged handcrafted belts for their ceremony.
“I’m not a ring guy,” Siegrist added.
Siegrist and Willprecht still celebrate their anniversary from the date of their civil union, but when they heard the news that marriage equality had come to Colorado, they quickly made plans to get their marriage license.
Siegrist was in Michigan when he first heard the news. Willprecht was working.
Siegrist returned on Friday, Oct. 17, and the couple made plans to go to the Grand County Clerk and Recorder’s office on Monday.
“I’m like, ‘we’re leaving early,’” Siegrist said. “‘I’m leaving work at 4, let’s just go and do it, and get it done.”
Being the first same-sex couple to get their license in Grand County was just icing on the cake.
“It was awesome,” Siegrist said.
They quietly celebrated with dinner at a friend’s house, Siegrist said.
“It wasn’t like, ‘Oh my god, we just got married,’” Siegrist said. “We put in on Facebook, but even though the piece of paper is final, I say, ‘hey, we got married Aug. 17, 2013.’”
Siegrist did joke that he would rather not have had to pay the $30 for the marriage license, since it wasn’t available when the couple got their civil union.
“I think that was discriminatory because it wasn’t available,” Siegrist said, “but I’m not going to complain about that.”
Willprecht and Siegrist see themselves staying in the Fraser Valley for the near future, before “moving on to the next adventure,” Siegrist said.
And when they do move on, they won’t have to worry about whether their new home respects their civil union.
“Hey, we’re just like everyone else,” Siegrist said. “It sealed the deal.”
Hank Shell can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19610.
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Approaching a year after the East Troublesome Fire destroyed 366 homes, including 132 belonging to fulltime Grand County residents, there are still a few families that haven’t been able to find stable housing.