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Devin Crock, 29, is from Virginia. He would never move back there. “Virginia is actually moving backwards,” Crock says of the home state he abandoned for D.C. five years ago. Today, he and partner Chris McLaurin, 23, are inching slowly forward in a long line of same-sex couples looking to secure a marriage license in the District of Columbia. Once Crock and McLaurin finalize their marriage in a civil ceremony on March 26, their future residence will likely be decided based on state laws.
“With DOMA [The Defense of Marriage Act] in place, we still do not have full rights in this country,” says McLaurin. “There will always be hurdles in the federal government. In states across the country, it’s the same way.” Adds Crock, “I don’t think we would move anywhere that wouldn’t recognize our marriage.”
Since marriage recognition is a deal-breaker, the current roster of possible homes for Crock and McLaurin looks like this: D.C., Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York. The couple has an interest in California, but even out-of-state same-sex marriages performed after Prop 8’s passing aren’t recognized there. Crock’s home state is definitely out. That’s fine by him. “New York, Maryland, even though you can’t get married there, these are places that would recognize us as married, and that’s where we want to be,” says Crock. “I don’t want to live in a place where my government discriminates against me.” Says McLaurin, “We want to live in a place where we can visit each other in the hospital.”