Openly gay playwright Terrence McNally married his longtime partner Tuesday in Washington, DC.

The pair, who live in New York City, had a civil union in Vermont seven years ago, The Associated Press reported, but wanted to marry.

“We want the 'M' word … We don't like separate but equal,” the 71-year-old playwright said. “We want equal.”

The ceremony, which took place on the banks of the Potomac near the Kennedy Center, was witnessed by actors Tyne Daly, John Glover and Malcolm Gets. All three are starring in McNally plays running at the Kennedy Center. Rev. George Walker of the People's Congregational United Church of Christ performed the ceremony.

Lawyer and Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy, 46, said it was love at first sight when he met McNally.

He read from a scene in McNally's play Corpus Christi.

“It is good when two men love as James and Bartholomew do and we recognize their union,” a gay Christ-like figure says before pronouncing two apostles married. “Love each other in sickness and in health.”

New York recognizes legal gay marriages performed outside the state, but gay and lesbian couples are not permitted to marry in the Empire State.

The couple has been together nearly a decade.