Genora Dancel, 53, and Kathryn Dennis,
43, married in Hawaii on Tuesday, 23 years after Dancel and other
activists applied for marriage licenses.
The couple married in a short ceremony
in the state Supreme Court surrounded by friends and family.
Dancel and her former partner, Ninia
Baehr,were among the three couples who on December 17, 1990 requested
– and were denied – marriage licenses. The couples challenged
the state's decision. In a landmark ruling, the Hawaii Supreme Court
sided with the couples but left it up to lawmakers to remedy the
A law allowing gay couples to marry was
approved by lawmakers last month and went into effect on December 2.
Dan Foley represented the couples in
their legal fight. Now an appeals court judge, Foley united Dancel
and Dennis in marriage.
“Today we stand and declare our
love,” Dennis said in reciting her vows. “Today, we stand before
family and a few of our heroes to wed and to receive the respect of
our union that you and Dan [Foley] fought for.”
Dancel said that she received her
marriage license last week from the same clerk who rejected her
application 23 years earlier.
“And we hugged and I took a picture
with her. Her name's Irene,” Dancel told Hawaii
The couple has been together 15 years.