OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KOKH/CNN) - A gay couple has obtained a marriage license legally within state borders thanks to a loophole.
"It's been a long road," Jason Pickel said.
Pickel and Darren Blackbear have been together for nine years.
"I'm 45, and I didn't think that I would ever be getting married," Blackbear said.
They were going to get married in Iowa, but instead of making a trip out of state, they drove an hour to Concho and obtained their marriage certificate at the Cheyenne-Arapaho tribal court, where laws don't define marriage as between a man and woman.
Blackbear is a member of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Nation, which is how Pickel and Blackbear were able to get married.
"We're just super excited, and we're hoping that everybody will soon have equality across America," Pickel said.
The only thing missing from their license is a signature from their officiant - Blackbear's father.
"My father has always fought for civil rights and equality, and so that's one of the reasons why we wanted to include him," he said.
Blackbear's father wants the men to write their own wedding vows.
"I was talking with my mother I was like, 'God I hope that I don't get all emotional and weepy and start crying,' and she started laughing," Blackbear said.
It's pretty clear Pickel and Blackbear know what they love about each other.
"I used to be a wallflower. I used to be really shy and really quiet, but he kind of brought me out of that," Blackbear said.
"Darren has kept me centered and can keep me grounded," Pickel said.
And as they finalize all the last-minute wedding details, leaders in Oklahoma's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community say their marriage is a big statement.
"It certainly creates an environment for people that come behind them to follow suit."
It also draws attention to the fight for marriage equality in Oklahoma.
"Unfortunately, the state of Oklahoma even though it happens within the state boundaries still won't be recognizing their marriage," said Scott J. Hamilton, director of the Cimarron Alliance.
But for the couple, at the end of the day, it's two adults making a decision to spend the rest of their lives together.
"I don't think marriage is a piece of paper," Pickel said. "Marriage is love between two people, but the piece of paper is very important."
Copyright 2013 KOKH via CNN. All rights reserved.