12/09/2013 08:51 am ET

'Family Ties' Star Meredith Baxter Marries Partner Nancy Locke

Beck Starr via Getty Images

Wedding bells chimed for "Family Ties" star Meredith Baxter and her longtime partner this weekend.

Baxter married contractor Nancy Locke, whom she has been dating for seven years, in Los Angeles Sunday (Dec. 8), according to People magazine. The two were surrounded by family and friends when they exchanged handwritten vows.

"Now I understand why marriage caught on!" the 66-year-old actress told the mag.

Fans of Baxter, who played the role of flower-child mom Elyse Keaton on the popular 1980s sitcom, might have known a wedding was coming. Baxter and Locke obtained a marriage license in Beverly Hills last month.

Baxter has been married three times before, to men. She came out as gay in 2009 during an interview with the "Today" show.

"I thought I was gonna drop into a hole," she told AOL last year. "I thought it was going to be the end of my career. I thought it was setting myself on fire. I thought it was the end. And it turned out to be the best possible thing I could ever have done. I didn't know to want the freedom that came, but it was glorious. I really hope other people will take that as an example, a vote of hope and confidence, that their life can change and be okay after coming out."

Congrats to the happy couple!



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