Couples show the Supreme Court just how long they’ve been waiting for the freedom to marry
June 11, 2015
Same-sex couples across the country have been waiting for years -- sometimes decades -- for the freedom to marry nationwide. From couples who saw marriage come to their home state in the past years to those who are still waiting for the United States Supreme Court to respect them where they live, these families know that the fight isn't over until every loving, committed couple is no longer banned from marriage. Read their stories!
Wendy & Vicki Thompson • Loveland, CO
Throughout their relationship, Vicki and Wendy have watched two beautiful children grow into strong adults, and welcomed their second grandchild just last year. The couple were married in 2008 in California, and then returned to their home state of Colorado to work towards the freedom to marry at home. "It is time that all Americans have the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage," Wendy said. "Everyone should be free to marry the person they love no matter what state they live in. When SCOTUS makes their decision, we will celebrate with our kids who have been so supportive of us and their own friends in the LGBT community."
Greg Bourke & Michael DeLeon • Louisville, KY
After 22 years together, Greg and Michael were finally married in Canada -- but when they returned to Kentucky, their marriage was no longer respected. In 2013, when the core of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the United States Supreme Court, the couple filed a lawsuit seeking respect for their marriage -- something that seemed more and more important as their children grew up. Now, their case is before the Supreme Court -- and could change the history of the freedom to marry nationwide. Read more about their story here.
Miriam & Susanne Thompson • Hedgesville, WV
In 2011, Miriam and Susanne Thompson were married in Connecticut -- but when they traveled back to West Virginia, their home state, their relationship was no longer respected. That all changed last year, when the Supreme Court denied review of marriage cases, bringing marriage to West Virginia. “My license is now changed, and we could file taxes this year for the first time!” Miriam said. But the couple knows that many families across the country are still waiting for a national ruling -- and the time is now.
Latasha & Chasity Parker • Rolla, MO
“Everyone deserves to be married and have a family,” Latasha said. “If you want to marry that person and be with them forever, you should be allowed to!” The couple was married this year, after 6 years of being together, and hope that their marriage will soon be respected no matter where they go.
Brett Fowler & Brian Lemus • New Orleans, LA
Brett and Brian have been together for 35 years, but still cannot get married in their home state of Louisiana. “We’ve long been treated as second class citizens,” Brett said. “Now is the time for equality for everyone.”
Dwane Thackston & William Alexander • Decatur, GA
Dwane and William traveled to South Carolina to get married this year on their 38th anniversary -- but are still legal strangers in their home state of Georgia. “We’ve been together for 38 years,” Dwane said. “We need Georgia to recognize our marriage.
Susan McGee & Karen L March • Eureka, CA
Susan and Karen married in their home state of California in 2008, 15 years after they met. They are grateful they were able to celebrate their commitment together -- and remain respected -- in California, but understand that couples all across the nation deserve the same rights. “Our love must triumph,” Susan said. “Our love must be recognized.”
Chad & Patrick Scanlon • Celebration, FL
When Chad and Patrick came back to their home state of Florida in 2011 after their wedding in Connecticut, their marriage was no longer respected. But that all changed this year, when the freedom to marry came to the Sunshine State. Still, if the couple were to travel to any other state that does not respect marriages between same-sex couples, they would suddenly be legal strangers. “Why should we be denied the recognition of our relationship just because we are two men?” Chad asked.
Adrienne & Kea Johnson • Brooklyn, NY
Adrienne and Kea were together for almost 10 years before they were finally able to get married in 2011 in their home state of New York. Still, they understand the need for every family, everywhere, to have the same rights and responsibilities they do.”Our human rights should not have to wait,” Adrienne said. “Love matters.”
Edward Thomas-Herrera & David Kodeski • Chicago, IL
In 2014, David and Edward were finally legally able to get married in their home state of Illinois -- after being together for 22 years. “It wasn’t about cake,” Edward laughed. “It was about making sure I can legally take care of the most important person in my life.”
Shaun Olson & Scott Marble • Brooklyn Park, MN
“We would be in a completely different situation if we were not allowed to get married,” Shaun said, referencing his husband Scott’s ALS diagnosis. “Medical decisions would be out of my hands. It is important that people are protected from losing everything after you have already lost so much.” The couple was married in Minnesota in 2013, after being together for 15 years before that.
Kenny Litvack & Kevin Dziuba • Mount Laurel, NJ
After 10 years of being in love, Kenny and Kevin finally married in New Jersey, where their relationship is respected. But the couple isn’t done fighting for love until everyone in the country has the same rights. “Love must win because we cannot call ourselves a great nation while simultaneously maintaining a second-class citizenry,” Kenny said. “Love is love!”
Ken Sundvik & Clint Hoiland • Clarkston, WA
“Families like ours deserve the same rights as everyone else,” Ken said, referencing his marriage to his partner of 19 years, Clint. “Our children deserve the same protections afforded to all families.” The couple was married in 2012, with a ceremony in 2013, alongside their two sons.
Robert & Tony Christon-Walker • Birmingham, AL
Although Tony and Robert were legally married in Washington D.C. last year, they had made a commitment to each other at a commitment ceremony in their home state of Alabama five years previously -- and never looked back. “All families deserve to be treated equally and have the same rights,” Robert said.
Stephanie Archie & Lisa White • Silver Spring, MD
Stephanie and Lisa have been together for 19 years -- but they still can’t be legally married anywhere in the country. “Everyone having the freedom to marry is just right,” Stephanie said. “Plain and simple!”
David Adcock & Ray Bomer • Fort Worth, TX
David and Ray were married last year in Oklahoma, after almost 30 years together. But when they returned to their home town in Texas, they were legally no longer married -- despite their lasting devotion and commitment. “It’s time for equal protection and rights,” David said.
Keli & DeAnna Criner • Springfield, OH
“I can only hope and pray that it is the beginning of the end of discrimination of marriage in the U.S. as the Supreme Court takes marriage into their hands now,” Keli said. “I’ve committed my life to the woman I’ve loved for over 10 years now, my wife and love of my life -- but this is not recognized in Ohio. I pray this is soon a thing of the past that our children and future generations do not have to go through.” Keli and DeAnna were married last year in Illinois, but when they returned home, their marriage was no longer respected.