06:42 AM EDT 07/06/2014
Originally posted 02/02/2013 05:00PM
When actor Jim Nabors married Stan Cadwallader, his partner of 38 years last month, he wasn't trying to make a political statement about gay marriage. He just wanted to marry the man he calls "best friend."
"We've been together a long time and we just thought, 'let's solidify this,'" Nabors, 82, tells PEOPLE from Hawaii.
The former Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle star and Cadwallader, 64, flew to Seattle – gay marriage is legal in Washington state – for a no-nonsense ceremony on Jan. 15, presided over by a longtime friend who is a judge.
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!