On Love

Nuptials: Ben Diamond & John Cross

(Courtesy Of John Cross)
Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ben Diamond, 57, is a retired lawyer. John Cross, 64, is a retired journalist, businessman and government official. They live in the District.

Wedding date: April 5.

Location: Moultrie Courthouse in Washington.

Guests: Seven.

How they met: It was an ongoing joke that John wasn't going to settle down until he met a lawyer who could keep him in the pampered lifestyle to which he wanted to become accustomed. A friend introduced John to that man, Ben, at a Pittsburgh gay bar on a stormy Monday night in 1982. Their first conversation indicated an unlikely pairing. Ben asked what John did for a living, John said he was a journalist for a local TV station, and Ben responded, "Oh, I don't watch local news." Nonetheless, the two hit it off, and their first date was to see John's newly decorated house.

The proposal: In 1991, Ben went to a legal seminar where he first heard about same-sex marriage. He started following the movement and mentioned it to John. "I thought it was the silliest thing ever," John says. He had been married before and that didn't turn out well. "When you have a good thing going," he explains, "why change it?" But after Ben's persistence, John agreed this was the next logical step for them.

The wedding: They tied the knot on the 28th anniversary of the day they met. John and Ben wore boutonnieres made of cherry blossoms and had a wedding cake decorated with the blooms. John's daughter traveled from Boston to witness the ceremony, as well.

Honeymoon: Sightseeing in the Carolinas and the Appalachian Mountains.

-- Kathleen Hom

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