Houston's mayor Annise Parkerhas married her long-time partnerKathy Hubbard at a private ceremony in California, asAmerica's second most populous state Texas does not legally recognise the same-sex marriages.
"I am privileged to now be the wife of the woman I have loved for more than 2 decades. I couldn't be happier. We said our vows today," the mayor tweeted yesterday.
According to a statement issued by Parker's office, the two chose January 16 as their wedding date because it marked their 23rdanniversary of being together.
The ceremony, held at sunset at a private home in Palm Springs in California, was attended by a small group of family and friends of the couple, including Parker's mother and Hubbard's sister, the statement said.
"This is a very happy day for us," said Parker, the first openly gay mayor of a major US city," it said.
"We have had to wait a very long-time to formalise our commitment to each other.
Kathy has been by my side for more than two decades, helping to raise a family, nurture my political career and all of the other ups and down and life events that come with a committed relationship. She is the love of my life and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life married to her," Parker said.
On the subject of insurance, the mayor's office said that Hubbard has "other insurance options available to her" and will not participate in the city's health insurance benefits programme for the spouses of legally-married city employees.
In November,Houston began offering benefits to same-sex coupleswho were married in a state where same-sex marriage was legal.