Yesterday, Governor John Hickenlooper signed civil unions into law; for our coverage, click here. In honor of this historic step, we've assembled photos and information about famous same-sex couples who've legally committed to each other, either through marriage ceremonies in areas where doing so is permitted or through civil partnerships. The text comes courtesy of the Partners Task Force for Gay & Lesbian Couples. See our top ten below, in anticipation of many Colorado couples joining them in unions of their own. Elton John and David Furnish "After 12 years together, they joined in a British 'civil partnership' on December 21, 2005. On December 25, 2010, their son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born." Armistead Maupin and Christopher Turner "Armistead is most well-known for his "Tales of the City," which feature characters that continue in a series of novels. Armistead and Christopher were married in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on February 18, 2007." Continue for more photos and information about famous same-sex couples who've tied the knot. George Takei and Brad Altman "George created the role of Lt. Hikaru Sulu on the 'Star Trek' TV series and movie sequels. George and Brad were legally married on June 17, 2008.
"Their 'best man' was Walter Koenig, (who played Chekov on 'Star Trek'), and 'best lady' was Nichelle Nichols (who played Uhura on 'Star Trek)."
Evan Wolfson and Cheng He "Evan Wolfson is an American civil rights attorney and advocate. He is founder and executive director of Freedom to Marry, the U.S. campaign to end marriage discrimination.
"While Evan served as assistant district attorney for Kings County (Brooklyn), he handled felony trials and appeals and wrote amicus briefs that helped win the U.S. Supreme Court's ban on race discrimination in jury selection (Batson v. Kentucky), and the New York State high court's elimination of the marital rape exemption (People v. Liberta). He argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002. Evan has been an adjunct professor at Columbia, Rutgers, and Whittier Law Schools.
"Evan authored "Why Marriage Matters; America, Equality, and Gay People's Right to Marry." In 2000, he was named one of "the 100 most influential lawyers in America" by the National Law Journal. In 2004, Evan was listed as one of Time Magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World."
"Evan and Cheng were legally married in New York on October 15, 2011."
Continue for more photos and information about famous same-sex couples who've tied the knot. Jim Nabors and Stan Cadwallader "Jim and Stan legally married in Seattle on January 15, 2013.
"Before they were married, Jim said, 'It's pretty obvious that we had no rights as a couple, yet when you've been together 38 years, I think something's got to happen there, you've got to solidify something. And at my age (82), it's probably the best thing to do.'
"Jim: 'I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I'm just very happy.'"
Gregory Maguire and Andy Newman "Gregory and Andy adopted three children and were married in Massachusetts in 2004.
"Gregory wrote at least 21 books for children and at least six novels, including 'Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West' (1995), 'Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister' (1999), 'Lost' (2001), 'Mirror, Mirror' (2003), 'Son of a Witch' (2005), and 'A Lion Among Men' (2008)."
Continue for more photos and information about famous same-sex couples who've tied the knot. Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Jónína Leósdóttir "In 2002, Jóhanna and Jónína obtained a domestic partner registration. They became one of the first same-sex married couples in Iceland when same-sex marriage was legalised in 2010.
"Jóhanna was previously Iceland's Minister of Social Affairs (1987-1994) and Social Security (2007-2009). She has been a member of the Althing (Iceland's parliament) for Reykjavík constituencies since 1978, winning re-election on eight successive occasions. She became Iceland's first female Prime Minister on 1 February 2009, the world's first openly LGBT head of government of the modern era. Jóhanna is a social democrat and Iceland's longest-serving member of Parliament."
Terrence McNally and Thomas Kirdahy "McNally wrote: 'The Ritz,' (1975), and 'Corpus Christi' (1997). He received Tony Awards for 'Love! Valour! Compassion!' (1995), 'Master Class' (1996), 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' (1993), and 'Ragtime' (1998). Mr. McNally also wrote 'Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune' (1987), and 'Lips Together, Teeth Apart' (1991). He has also won two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
"Terrence and Thomas had a Civil Union in Vermont in December 2003."
Continue for more photos and information about famous same-sex couples who've tied the knot. Stephen Gately and Andy Cowles "Stephen former sang with Boyzone, an Irish band. They joined in a British civil partnership on March 20, 2006." Ellen DeGeneres and Portia deRossi "Ellen and Portia were married in California on August 16, 2008. Both are vegan. Ellen has been very public, and (usually comedically) outspoken about gay and lesbian civil rights. Ellen's mother, Betty DeGeneres, is an active member of PFLAG and spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project."
More from our Politics archive: "Civil unions bill on way to governor's desk, One Colorado plans celebration event."