American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Nine Years in the Making: Clayton and Scott’s Love Story

AFER’s Love Stories series tells the stories of couples who are waiting to get married. If you are a gay and lesbian couple who is planning to get married, tell us your story and you could be featured.

On an average afternoon in the AFER office, the staff was ready to interview Ken Clayton and Scott Olson of Virginia for the Love Stories blog series. What they got was not at all what they expected.

Over in Virginia, Clayton had not told Scott that he was submitting them for the spotlight, nor why they needed to be on a mysterious phone call that day. The two parties connected, and the words started flowing…

“Scott, I love you so much, you are the most important person in the world to me. I know we never actually discussed what would happen if Virginia legalized marriage but when it does, I wanted to ask you….will you marry me.”

Right then and there, the people here at AFER got to witness one of the most touching and beautiful moments in the couple’s relationship as Clayton asked Scott for his hand in marriage. A joyous Scott accepted his proposal as the tearful team listened on.

“We’ve been together for nine years and I never thought it was going to happen because we live in Virginia,” explains and overwhelmed Scott. “I have always wanted to do it! My friends always ask if we will get married once Virginia passes the law, and I always said that I hope so – until now! This is the best!”

“I’m so glad he said yes!” Clayton says in reaction.

Harder Times

Although Clayton and Scott are currently at a high in their relationship, they have had their fair share of tough times. In 2008, the couple was shaken up by Scott’s cancer diagnosis.

“It was really scary because I was finally so happy,” recalls Scott. “I was afraid all of that was going to go away. In the back of my mind, I thought, ‘what if it becomes too much for him to handle and he leaves me?’”

However, the situation was quite the opposite. Clayton did everything he could to take care of Scott during that time. “I’m really good at controlling my emotions, but it was scary. But life is what you make of it. We make each day the best.”

At the time of Scott’s diagnosis, the doctors proposed a new kind of treatment for him. However, insurance issues made it difficult.

“The thing that irritates me the most about not being married is the fact that we don’t get the over 1,100 benefits that married people do,” explains Clayton.

Scott continues, “If I were to end up in an ICU unit, he wouldn’t even be able to come see me! That’s terrifying.”

A Loving Family

Even though this couple has the odds stacked against them, they insist they are just a normal, happy family living in Virginia with three rescue dogs and are very adamant about helping and saving animals.

“I never refer to them as dogs – they are my babies!” says Scott. “But in all seriousness, we tried to start a family at one point. My niece and nephew lost their mother and we were going to adopt them. It didn’t work out, but I would have done anything for them.”

Naturally, thanks to their recent engagement, they are looking forward to being able to throw a huge wedding.

“All our friends are going to be so excited!” Scott exclaims.

Hopefully, that huge wedding will happen sooner rather than later.

Update: After their interview with AFER, Clayton and Scott sadly lost their dog, Be’Lana. They are looking forward to adopting another pet from a local shelter and encourage everyone to do the same.