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 situation.

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 News Now.

The couple has been together 15 years.