20 years of same-sex marriage: A look back with America's first legally wed gay couple

Friday marks 20 years since the first same-sex marriages took place in the United States.

FOX 5 NY's Linda Schmidt was anchoring that day, as history was made. 

Three couples, including Rob Compton and David Wilson, signed their marriage certificate in Boston, Massachusetts, in the country's first same-sex marriages.

"That was such a significant moment," Compton said, looking back.

Massachusetts was the first state to legalize gay marriage after several couples won a class action lawsuit. It followed a long struggle for marriage equality.

"The House and the Senate of Massachusetts were against us.  The Governor was against us.  The President of the United States was against us and the Pope," Wilson said. 

The love that Compton and Wilson shared, however, ultimately conquered all. 

"At our church, every seat was filled and people were actually out onto the street trying to get in.  They had to shut down the street so that we could all get into the church," Wilson said.

"David and I don't often think about the fact that we, we made history," Compton said.

David and Rob, now 80 and 74, respectively, still live in Massachusetts to this day. They have five adult children, 12 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. 

"Our kids are so proud of what we've done.  My daughter's a school psychologist in Laramie, Wyoming, about as red as you can get and when I go out there, she introduces me and David to everybody, you know, and it's we get standing ovations and people are excited. The kids are just so proud," Compton said. 

And how would they describe their lives now?

"In just one word.  Normal.  Very normal.  We go through our life.  We don't think about the marriage license that I used to carry in the beginning, wherever we went in the beginning," Wilson said. "Those first six months to a year, I'd always take our marriage license."      

Their fight helped create marriage equality that young Americans today can easily enjoy.

"It makes me feel so good to sit back and think, you know, the baton has been passed. The next generation gets it," Compton said. "Their poll numbers are so high in supporting not just same-sex marriage rights, but human rights."

But, they are slightly worried that gay rights opponents may try to impose restrictions in the future.

"We are pretty confident they're not going to take our license away, but we are concerned about new licenses," Wilson said. "We may be in the history books today, but they can erase us tomorrow. So, we have to stay out with our message."

Part of that message: Celebrate who you are and be proud.

"We have earned the right to be ourselves.  So, don't be afraid to do that," Wilson said.