Editors' Note: On November 6, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit ruled against the freedom to marry, reversing a lower court ruling in a federal case that declared it unconstitutional to deny the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. Now, this couple is speaking out about why marriage matters in their state and nationwide, committed to continuing the fight.
“Someday lady you’ll accompany me.”
That’s the lyric – from the 1980 Bob Seger song – that ran through Kim Franklin’s mind every time she ran into Tammy Boyd in the small town of Simpsonville, KY. She and Tammy both grew up on family farms in Kentucky, and they had been friendly with the same groups of people for years.
“In the early 80s, I was working in Simponville and would sometimes visit the local store, where Tammy worked,” Kim said. “She was the most beautiful person that I had ever seen – but we were both girls, so I just admired her from afar, and in my mind. It was the 80s, and we lived in a rural community.”
But again and again, Kim would cross paths with Tammy, and years later – in 2007 – they connected and really took the time to catch up after more than two decades of casual friendship.
“I was going to go over to see her, and I had made up my mind that when I did, I was going to have that song playing – ‘Someday lady you’ll accompany me’ – and I was going to tell her that I had been thinking about her for the past 20 years.”
But before Kim could play the song and share her feelings, Tammy gave Kim a letter.
“I decided to read the letter before I told her how I felt, and it gave me a glimpse of hope that maybe we both felt the same way,” Kim said. “It turned out that after a long talk, we discovered that we both had felt the same way since the early 80s. My head was spinning and my heart was exploding – but we were on our way to a life together.”
“As time went on, we continued talking and talking,” Tammy added. “I simply fell head over heels in love with this woman. I could barely look at her – could not make eye contact with this woman that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
Of course, both women got over their butterflies, and their love blossomed more and more each day.
On July 15, 2010, they traveled from Kentucky to Connecticut to get married, which they did in a beautiful beachfront ceremony.
“When she started walking toward me, I felt like I was going to pass out,” Kim said. “I started crying, because all of my dreams were coming true: The most beautiful person in the world was walking toward me.”
“Our eyes locked and we were making history – our history,” Tammy said. “We stood hand in hand and exchanged vows that we had written but kept secret from each other. I was marrying the love I had been waiting for all my life.”
Now, Tammy and Kim are one of four couples working hard to stand up for that love and commitment right in their home state of Kentucky – the state where so much of their history together is based. They’re plaintiffs in Bourke v. Beshear, the federal marriage case that received a ruling last February in favor of the freedom to marry, deciding that Kentucky must respect the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states. The case was brought by private firm Fauver Law Office led by primary attorneys Shannon Fauver and Dawn Elliott. Clay Daniel Walton & Adams attorneys Dan Canon, Laura Landenwich and L. Joe Dunman are also involved in the suit.
In August, the women went before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit to stand up for their marriage on August 6, when their case will be heard alongside five others (from MI, OH, and TN, plus a related Kentucky case brought by the same team that extends the freedom to marry to same-sex couples right in the Bluegrass State). Although the court ruled on the wrong side of history, reversing lower court rulings, on November 6, the couple has not given up the fight.
They’re excited to be a part of this history – and through it all, they’re thrilled that they’re able to accompany each other.
“We are taking this journey of marriage for all Kentuckians, and I could not be more proud,” Tammy said. “May God see all things wonderful in this lifetime – and may all things happen the way it was meant to be: In love.”