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huck Levine, a womanizing bachelor, and Larry Valentine, a widower struggling to raise his two children, are two veteran New York City firefighters. During a sweep of a burned building, a segment of floor collapses on Chuck, but Larry saves his life. Chuck vows to repay Larry in any way possible. Experiencing an epiphany from the incident, Larry tries to increase his life insurance policy. He finds out that a lapse in the paperwork after his wife's death keeps him from naming his children as primary beneficiaries. The representative from the insurance company suggests that Larry find a new spouse so he can name that person as his beneficiary. However, there is no woman in Larry's life that he loves or trusts. Inspired by a newspaper article about domestic partnerships, Larry asks Chuck to enter a civil union with him. Although Chuck declines at first, he is reminded of his debt to Larry and finally agrees, entering a domestic part
nership and becoming Larry's primary beneficiary in the event of his death. To their dismay, however, investigators arrive to inquire about their abrupt partnership, suspecting fraud. Chuck and Larry decide to enlist the help of lawyer Alex McDonough, who suggests they have a formal wedding ceremony to prove they are committed. The pair travel to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada for a quick same-sex marriage at a wedding chapel, and Chuck moves in with Larry and his children. Alex invites the couple to a gay benefit costume party. At the end of the evening, the partygoers are confronted by homophobic protesters. Chuck is provoked into punching their leader, and the incident is picked up by the local news. With their apparent homosexuality and marriage revealed, Chuck and Larry are heckled, and their fellow FDNY firefighters refuse to work with them. Their only ally is Fred G. Duncan, an angry, intimidating firefighter who reveals to Chuck that he is gay, and has not felt comfortab
le telling anyone. Chuck becomes romantically interested in Alex after the two spend time together, but finds himself unable to get close to her because she thinks he is gay. During a heart-to-heart talk about relationships, the two spontaneously kiss, but Alex, still believing Chuck is gay and married, is shocked and immediately distances herself from Chuck. Meanwhile, city agent Clinton Fitzer arrives to investigate the couple, and the strain on both Larry and Chuck causes them to fight. Larry asserts that Chuck's constant absence to spend time with Alex is jeopardizing their ability to maintain the ruse of their relationship. Chuck tells Larry that he should stop refusing to move on from the death of his wife. Later that evening, a petition circulates to have Chuck and Larry thrown out of the firehouse. Upon discovering it, Larry confronts the crew about personal embarrassments on the job that Chuck and Larry helped them overcome. Afterwards, Chuck and Larry apologize to each
other and reconcile their differences. Eventually, numerous women publicly testify to having slept with Chuck in the recent past, and the couple is called into court to defend their marriage against charges of fraud. They are defended by Alex, and their fellow firefighters arrive in support, having realized all that Chuck and Larry have done for them over the years. Fitzer interrogates both men, and eventually demands the pair to kiss to prove that their relationship is physical. Before they do so, Chuck and Larry are interrupted by FDNY Captain Phineas J. Tucker, who reveals their marriage to be a sham and that they are both straight. He emphasizes that the situation reminded people not to be judgmental, and then offers to be arrested as well, since he knew about the false relationship but failed to report it. This prompts each of the other firefighters to claim a role in the wedding in a show of solidarity. Chuck, Larry, and the other firefighters are sent to jail, but they are q
uickly released after negotiating a deal to provide photos for an AIDS research benefit calendar, and Chuck and Larry keep their benefits. Two months later, Fred and Alex's brother, Kevin, are married in Niagara Falls at the same chapel as Chuck and Larry. At the wedding party (which features musical guest Lance Bass), Larry moves on from the death of his wife and talks to a new woman, while Alex agrees to a dance with Chuc