2015 Ray Whitehouse – “After 34 Years” After 34 Years On Oct. 10, 2014, North Carolina became the 29th state to allow gay marriage. After more than 34 years together, Stanley Finch and Jeffery Beam got married on Nov. 29, 2014. Beam and Finch, both born and raised in North Carolina, said they wanted to get married to celebrate their relationship and exercise their right to equality under state law. Their act of matrimony legally redefined their relationship and the two formally became family members. “We never thought this day would come in our lifetime,” said Beam. It’s “hard to think it is real and not some joke.” At the Hillsborough County Register of Deeds office, Stan, left, and Jeff, right, take a marriage oath swearing that the information they have provided is accurate and that there is no legal impediment to them getting married. Jeff reads over one of the marriage certificates before the wedding. On the morning of their marriage, Jeff gives Stan a kiss before leaving their house in Hillsborough to run errands. The wedding took place in Chapel Hill, North Carolina at the house of Jeff and Stan’s mutual friend, Pat Owens. Stan bought Jeff a wedding gift: a pottery jug depicting two men next to each other. Stan hugs Jeff at the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, which was co-officiated by Drake Maynard, left, and Helen Johnson, second to left. Jeff and Stan cut the cake together. After the wedding ceremony, Jeff and Stan relax in their living room with their dog Bijon. These images are copyright Ray Whitehouse and are use here by permission. They may not be used elsewhere without permission.