Main | Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Marriage Plaintiffs Meet In DC

On the eve of yesterday's SCOTUS hearings, same-sex marriage plaintiffs from more than 30 states met each other, mostly for the first time, in a Washington DC reception hosted by Freedom To Marry. Tony Adams reports at South Florida Gay News:
Freedom To Marry’s Executive Director, Evan Wolfson, said, “This is such an amazing gathering, where Freedom To Marry is so happy to host all of the plaintiffs we could track down from 40 years in 33 states and 55 cases of fighting and working and telling our stories, and they are all gathered in one room tonight with huge hope for tomorrow and the win we have all worked for. I want to thank The Key West plaintiffs for having the idea for this gathering. We are honored to make it happen.”

At the reception, the earliest case involving marriage equality plaintiffs involved two Hawaiians who, during the seven years it took to bring the suit to completion, had ended their relationship and moved into relationships with other women. Genora Dancel and Ninia Baehr say the case lasted seven years as did their relationship. They are still good friends, and Dancel says, “We still have a lifelong relationship. It’s just not the one we anticipated when we applied for a marriage license.”

Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes were plaintiffs in the Texas case. “Our case is before the fifth circuit – almost four months now - and it is still pending a decision,” Pharris said. “Mark and I love each other very much and would love to get married in our home state,” Holmes said. “We’ve been together eighteen years and he’s still so cute.” Phariss added, “We are so confident in the results of the Supreme Court hearing that we have already hired a florist, booked a venue and made all the reservations we need for the date we have chosen to get married in Texas.”
Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett told the group, "I am a recovering lawyer, so I know that you advocates and plaintiffs have to basically put your lives on hold to do what you do."

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