Military Couple Hopes For Marriage Back Home

Timothy & Joseph Klipp-Lockhart • Alexandria, VA

This story was originally published in March 2015. Thanks to Joshua Foo Photography in Omaha, NE for connecting Freedom to Marry with Joseph and Timothy and allowing use of his beautiful photos. Learn more about Joshua Foo Photography at his website and his Facebook page

Joseph and Timothy met in Nebraska – they went on their first date in Omaha after they connected online, and they haven’t been apart since. In fact, it was in Nebraska, surrounded by family that Timothy realized that he was in love with Joseph.

“The moment I knew that I wanted to be with Joseph forever was when we were all together – with my family and my brothers at Christmas time,” he remembered. “We were all so happy and getting along, and we knew that everything was good and everything was right, and I could tell that it was going to be good for a really long time. I felt like this was what it was supposed to be like.”

Two years after they met, they were married in Iowa in a restaurant run by a same-sex couple. After the thrilling ceremony, the couple returned to their home state, where their marriage was not respected. 

So it was bittersweet when the couple had to move to Virginia for Joseph’s military career – their marriage was respected in that state, but they longed for Nebraska to see their love and commitment as valuable, as well. Nebraska is where Timothy’s family lives, and the couple plans to move back there to be close to them when it makes sense. “We are going to move back to Nebraska,” Timothy said. “And we want to have our marriage recognized there.”

Timothy’s family members – who, for the most part, still live in Nebraska – have been unendingly supportive of the couple. “My younger brother and his wife didn’t bat an eye when I came out to them,” he said. “They were really open and they loved Joseph from the get-go. My dad treated it no different than when my brothers got engaged. My mother was also excited for the marriage - her and Joseph have become extremely close, with my mother loving him as much as her other three sons.”

The two of them hope that the state they love and hope to return to will welcome the freedom to marry – and their marriage – soon. With so many supportive family members there, it’s hard for the couple to imagine visiting them in a place where their relationship is not seen as legal.

On March 2, a federal judge ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, with the ruling set to take effect on Monday, March 9, a triumphant and historic step forward. Now, the couple is hopeful that the decision does take effect and isn't delayed unnecessarily by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. 

“Our motto is ‘Equality Before the Law,’ and it doesn’t feel to me, as a Nebraskan, like we’re living up to that unless we have equality for all in marriage,” Timothy said. “I’d be ecstatic to be able to move back to Nebraska and feel equal.”

Photos by Joshua Foo Photography. Full album here.