11:04 AM EDT 07/10/2016
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.
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