Yesterday was a monumental day in the annals of LGBT history. The Supreme Court declined to hear cases from five states that had appealed marriage equality rulings in their state, which cleared the way for same-sex marriage in Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and our very first Southern state to allow gay marriage, Virginia.
Gay Star News reports that the ruling also clears the way for marriage in six other states, which would bring the total number of marriage equality states to—are you ready for this—30! That’s more than half!
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Over the summer you may remember reading headlines like “Wisconsin Judge Says Gay Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional,” or “Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down in Virginia.” Similar calls rolled in from Utah, Oklahoma, and Indiana, but the stories didn’t really go much further, because government officials in each of those states appealed the ruling, putting off gay marriage until a higher court could hear the ruling.
Well today that higher court—the Supreme Court, thank you— is listening, and if SCOTUS is correct it has decided to deny review in all seven petitions before it.
What does this mean? Amy Howe from SCOTUS blog explains:
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Twenty-seven Pennsylvania couples who married in Montgomery County last year are awaiting word on a settlement with the state that would recognize their unions performed when D. Bruce Hanes legalized marriage equality for about a week late last summer.
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A book launch and reception was held Friday night at University of the Arts for photographer and Associate Professor Barbara Proud’s new page-turner First Comes Love: Portraits of Enduring LGBTQ Relationships (Soleil Press).
Barbara Proud (right) and Jan Felshin, who's been with her partner, Edrie Ferdum, for 55 years.
Home Nguyen, Dan Martin, Leng Lim and Michael Biello. Nguyen and Lim, Manhattan residents, are subjects in the book and have been together 19 years.
CJ Harker and Sean Dyroff
George Beschen, director of donor relations at Fox Chase Cancer Center, and Jordan Rockford, senior lecturer/academic advisor at UArts.
Richard Moore, Jeannette Moore, Maggie Bays, and Stuart Hovell are related to Proud. They tell me that she and her partner, Allison, have the longest relationship in the family, and many of the family members go to them when they need advice.
Marc Silver and James Rose, both artists, tell me the secret to their longevity is allowing each other the space to exercise their creativity in isolation, and not get personal about it.
The forward to the book was written by Edie Windsor, whose challenge and eventual beating of DOMA seemed to set in motion the equality marriage act that is sweeping the nation.
Laura and Jennifer Zaylea have been together for six years, having met in grad school. They recently became parents to twin girls and reside in Delaware. They tell me they're not getting a lot of sleep, but are loving the experience.
Edrie and Jan together 55 years. Edrie was the head of the dance program at Temple University for 30 years.
Harvey Hurdle and Kevin Yoder are the proud dads of 2-year-old Evan Hurdle-Yoder. The dads have limited contact with the mother but share photos of Evan with her via Facebook. The couple was wed on their 25th anniversary in Washington DC in 2013, as Pennsylvania hadn’t allowed same-sex marriages at the time.
Santiago Ortiz and Pablo Garcia have been together 23 years. Pablo (right) is a native of Venezuela, and has been living undocumented for over 20 years. Despite being legally married in Connecticut in 2011, the couple had lived in fear that Garcia would be deported, but now that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled DOMA unconstitutional, Garcia is allowed to apply for a green card as Santiago’s spouse. Their story was documented in a Time magazine article and on Buzzfeed last year.
Rasheda Hampton, Marisa Marchegiano and Michele Marchesiano were glad to be on hand to support several of their friends who are featured in the project.
Students from University of the Arts entertain guests.
Juan and Imelda Sanchez with their son Juan ‘Toby’ Sanchez and his partner Michael Marriott. Mr. and Mrs. Sanchez flew in from Houston, Texas to be there Friday night. Juan and Michael met in D.C. and still reside there. They are on the cover of the book. Mom and dad are very proud and supportive of their son.
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Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard
Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle. Today, Wendy Sheppard and Ethelda Makoid, a couple from Ambler, Pennsylvania, one of the couples who married last summer when same-sex marriage became legal for a split-second in Montgomery County.
Names: Ethelda Makoid and Wendy Sheppard
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: 10 years
When did you get married?: Officially on May 10, 2014 in Connecticut; unofficially in Montgomery County on August 8, 2013.
Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: We got married on our 10-year anniversary in Greenwich, Connecticut. One-hundred of our closest family and friends traveled to be with us from 15 states and two countries. Prior to getting married, our son produced an award winning documentary (see clip below) detailing his experience living with two moms. His film won him the Greenfield Youth Film Festival award for best producer and he was nominated for best documentary at the mid-Atlantic division of the Student Emmy’s. The most memorable part of our wedding is the fact that we got nearly a dozen thank-you notes from guests, thanking us for including them in our celebration.
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David B. Devan & David A. Dubbeldam (plus guests)
Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature David Devan, Artistic Director of Opera Philadelphia, and his husband, David Dubbeldam, from Philadelphia. Yes, they are a pair of Double-D’s!
Names: David B. Devan and David A. Dubbeldam
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: Two years.
When did you get married?: August 4, 2007
Describe the experience of your wedding. Where did you get married? Who was there? What was the most memorable part?: In the summer of 2006 we returned to Victoria, British Columbia, the city we met in and lived in before moving to Philadelphia, to be legally married (marriage equality has been recognized in B.C. since July 2003). Our wedding was the most beautiful day of our lives filled with cherished family and dearest friends (including over 20 from Philadelphia). We were not expecting to be so moved by all the love and support that everyone had for us as a couple—it was so powerful and we will never forget it!
Want to be featured in a future Tie-the-Knot Tuesday? If you’re a gay or lesbian couple married in Pennsylvania, we want to hear from you. Take our brief survey!
G Philly’s editor, Josh Middleton, with his soon-to-be husband Alan and their two pups, Doris and Galileo.
Sometimes, we get so excited here at G Philly that we can’t hide it. Today is one of those days! Read more »
Kat Nguyen and Em Sov
Every Tuesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature Em Sov and Kat Nguyen, a couple from West Chester, Pennsylvania who said “I do” twice: Once in California, and once in Pennsylvania.
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If you heard the gay Internet explode a few minutes ago, it’s because superstar gay Neil Patrick Harris broke the news on Twitter that he married his partner of 10 years, David Burtka.
According to People the couple tied the knot in Italy in “an intimate ceremony surrounded by their close friends and family.” They donned custom-made Tom Ford tuxedos, and How I Met Your Mother director Pam Fryman officiated.
So sweet. Congrats, boys!
Dana and Tracey Jones
Every Wednesday, we are featuring a Philadelphia-area gay or lesbian couple who have walked down the aisle in their own special way. Today, we feature Dana and Tracey Jones, a lesbian couple from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who incorporated their two lovely children in their marriage ceremony.
Names: Dana and Tracey Jones
How long have you been together as a couple before you got married?: 2 years
When did you get married?: October 2, 2010, in Pennsylvania with a ceremony and reception. Then we did it in New York City to make it legally recognized on April 20, 2012.
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