Songwriter and producer Shane McAnally and his longtime partner Michael Baum made it official on Jan. 20, when the two came together at Nashville Mayor Megan Barry’s office to get married in the eyes of the state.

The two were married in a ceremony in Mexico five years ago after six years together, and have since had two children, but the intimate ritual on Jan. 20 put it on paper. McAnally shared an adorable photo of himself, Baum and their children, Dash and Dylan, after the ceremony, as well as one from the nuptials.

"Today, marriage certificate in hand, we stand with our two beautiful children as a modern American family and say 'love is love.' We continue in the hope and belief that open minds and accepting hearts will always conquer fear,” McAnally writes.

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The timing of the ceremony -- on Jan. 20, the same day that Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States --  was not coincidental, since Trump has vacillated in his support gay marriage despite his past stated support for it. His Vice President, Mike Pence, has long opposed equal rights for the LGBT community.

McAnally adds that he and his husband have been "overwhelmed with all the love and well-wishes and are so grateful we live in a time and place where our family can be recognized by our government. On a day where we felt the weight of a divided nation, we chose to celebrate our freedom to love who we love."

Being gay in the country music industry has historically been under the radar, but in recent years a handful of stars have shared that they have the same story as McAnally. Artists including Chely WrightBilly Gilman, Ty Herndon, and Brandy Clark are openly gay, and even several years ago, McAnally felt country was ready to welcome them.

“Look, Nashville is a boys’ club of redneck conservative ideas,” McAnally told the New York Times back in 2013. “But they’re ready to embrace gay people. I never felt for one second that someone was judging me.”

The genre has embraced McAnally with open arms, at least when it comes to commercial success.

“My career really took off when I came out,” he said. “When I stopped hiding who I am, I started writing hits.”

McAnally is one of the most successful country songwriters and producers on the scene, having worked extensively with artists including Kacey Musgraves and Sam Hunt, two singer-songwriters who are pushing the boundaries of what country “should” be. He also produced the all-star "Forever Country" track that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards in 2016.

McAnally has also written or co-written songs for Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, Kenny Chesney and a slew of other big names in the industry.

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