Mark England and husband Michael Handley have been together nine years.
Patti Echsner and Bette Niemi
Greg Bryant and John Jameson
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Under the Defense of Marriage
Act, gay and lesbian couples were not entitled to pension and social security
benefits or family medical leave provisions. In Kentucky and Indiana they still
But even though gay and lesbian couples
understand there is still a long way to go, tomorrow's battle did not diminish
their excitement Wednesday night over the Supreme Court's historic decision.
At parties around the nation and here in
Louisville, champaign corks were popping Wednesday night. At one Down with DOMA party, guests said their
loved ones hearts and minds had already changed, now they said, progress is
being made far outside their circles.
"I think the statement was, 'we
cannot tolerate discrimination against anyone in this country,' that's a
huge step forward," said party guest Patti Echsner.
Echsner and her wife Bette Niemi are both
lawyers were like two other longtime Louisville couples were recently wed in
"We've been together almost 21
years," Echsner said. The two lawyers understand the
importance of the decision from a legal standpoint with taxes and health and
pension benefits, but on a personal level after two decades together?
"To see the Supreme Court legitimize our
relationship and who we are is pretty special," she said.
Mark England and husband Michael Handley have
been together nine years.
England said, "When Michael and I got
married in December we felt confident this day would come."
And for Greg Bryant and John Jameson, also
together nine years, it's simple, "Finally," Bryant said of the
ruling. Jameson said for him it's two words, "Dignity and
respect," he stated, "We will live our lives with the dignity and
respect every other citizen expects from paying their taxes."
But right around the corner from the party,
there is no celebration.
"It's going to be a great challenge for
us all," said Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Dr. Albert
Mohler. Mohler calls the DOMA decision devastating for the country, primarily the demand to redefine marriage.
"Even though marriage has always been
the union of a man and a woman in human history until very, very
recently," he said," The first country to legalize same sex marriage
in the history of the world was the Netherlands in 2000 and that's just 13
years ago, so we're talking about a huge moral revolution here, not merely a
at the party, it's was a good night, but they realize a fight still waits in the
Commonwealth where their unions still aren't legal. With 13 states
recognizing gay marriage, the couples do have the option of moving, but hope
they won't have to. Echsner said, "We hope Kentucky will be the next
one and will keep fighting for that kind of justice."
Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:12 PM EDT2014-07-31 01:12:13 GMT
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.More >>
The tattoo has not previously been seen widely by the public because cameras are not allowed inside Indiana courtrooms. The Indiana Office of the Courts released the photo on July 30 as part of evidence logged in by police and presented to the court by the Floyd County Prosecutor's Office.