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Dan Campione and Dan Gallery

Dan Campione and Dan Gallery

Dan and Dan have been together for more than 10 years, and now it's time for them to have the freedom to marry in Delaware! Read their story:

DanandDanDE1.jpgDan Gallery and Dan Campione love each other and they love to sing. For more than ten years they’ve been making music with the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware. At a June 2004 concert, Dan Campione inserted a slip of paper into every program book that said, "Dan, Will You Marry Me?" When Dan Gallery approached the microphone during intermission, someone in the audience shouted out, "What was your answer?," to which Gallery sheepishly responded, "My answer was yes." The entire house applauded and wished the happy couple well.

After a nearly nine-year-long engagement, 2013 could be the year that Campione and Gallery finally get a legal marriage license in their state. "We're no different than any other couple," Campione said. "We struggle the same, we love the same, we aspire to grow old together. The best word to describe my relationship with Dan is 'home' - no matter where we are, as long as I'm with him, it feels like home. To have marriage with him would feel like a full-circle thing - it would feel like after traveling the road together, we finally have full marriage equality."

The men met in 2001, when Gallery visited the corporate headquarters of Wawa in Media, where Campione worked as the call center supervisor. Campione noticed that Gallery drove a green Jeep, and, in a nervous effort to make conversation, he sent Gallery an email asking for his opinion on the car.

DanandDanDE2.jpeg"I told him that I was looking into buying a Jeep - even though I had just gotten a new car a few months before," Campione laughed, remembering the excited anxiety he felt when he met Gallery. "I told him that the car dealership didn't want to give me a test drive, and so that was our first real interaction - Dan driving me around and talking about the benefits of the car."

During the contrived test drive, Campione and Gallery talked about going on a a real date, and in the weeks that followed, they got to know each other and began a romantic relationship. A year later, Campione moved to Delaware to live with Gallery in Hockessin, DE.

Soon after, they joined the Rainbow Chorale of Delaware together, a testament to their shared love for music and performance and an avenue for them to be a part of an accepting community that helped them better understand themselves and their relationship. "We really bonded when it came to music and conveying a message to an audience about being gay and being accepting and that it's OK," Campione said. "That was a really important growing experience."

Campione and Gallery performed with the Rainbow Chorale on May 11, 2011 at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, DE, where they performed "Make Them Hear You" from Ragtime right before Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed into law a bill that allowed same-sex couples in the state to join together in civil union. Campione and Gallery and dozens of other voices in the Rainbow Chorale sang out. "Go out and tell the story, let it echo far and wide," their voices rang. "Make them hear you! Make them hear you!"

"It was one of the proudest days to live in Delaware,” Campione said. "It was such a fun, exciting, and proud night."

Campione and Gallery had decided that they didn't want to marry until they had the freedom to marry in their home state, but when Gov. Markell signed the civil union law, the couple planned a ceremony in celebration of taking a step toward marriage by joining together in civil union.

They hosted their ceremony on September 29, 2012 at Rockwood Park's Carriage House, a rustic, fun venue where over 125 people came together to celebrate the couple's eleven years together and lifetime ahead.

"It was a party not only celebrating our union, but the changes coming for all of us in Delaware,” Campione said. "I made a video showing the beginning of gay history, and before we took our vows, I showed the video. We wanted to tell people that we all have a story, and that this was our way of telling our story."

This year, Equality Delaware is leading efforts to pass a bill through the state legislature that would end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. It would be another landmark step forward for the dignity, safety, respect, and equality of all Delawareans, and a happy ending to a very long engagement for Gallery and Campione. And yes, there will be singing.

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commented 2013-02-20 15:33:07 -0500 · Flag
What a beautiful story….thanks for sharing….and be sure to keep us updated on the wedding!