Gay and lesbian couples began marrying
in six states on Monday shortly after the Supreme Court declined to
hear appeals in cases challenging marriage bans in Utah, Indiana,
Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Virginia.
Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin filed a
lawsuit challenging Oklahoma's ban shortly after it was approved in
2004. The women exchanged vows on the steps of the Tulsa County
“It's a great day to be gay in
Oklahoma,” Baldwin said following the wedding. “It's an even
better day to be married.”
Plaintiff couples involved in
Virginia's case were among those celebrating in the state.
Alan Bostic and Tony London were the
first gay couple to receive a marriage license in Norfolk. The
couple said they would hold a ceremony at a later date. In receiving
their license from Clerk George Schaefer, London reportedly said, “It
was a pleasure suing you,” and Schaefer replied, “I enjoyed being
Plaintiff couple Carol Schall and Mary
Townley, who wanted their California marriage recognized by Virginia,
held a “recommitment” ceremony outside the Richmond courthouse.
The women, together nearly 30 years, are raising a 16-year-old
Erika Turner and Jennifer Melsop
(pictured) were the first couple to marry in Arlington. The women
said they were planning to wed in August.
In Utah, gay couples began marrying
less than an hour after the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a
stay on its ruling declaring the state's ban invalid, around 11 AM.
Plaintiff couple Derek Kitchen and
Moudi Sbeity, who married in December after a federal judge first
struck down Utah's ban, said at a news conference that they were
“thrilled” with the news.
Only several counties in Wisconsin and
Indiana began issuing marriage licenses to gay couples on Monday,
citing the need to wait for the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal in
Chicago to issue a mandate.
Republican Governor Scott Walker
declared the fight over.
“For us, it's over in Wisconsin,”
he's quoted as saying by the AP. “The federal courts have ruled
that this decision by this court of appeals is the law of the land
and we will be upholding it.”
At least one county in Colorado, which
is under the jurisdiction of the Tenth Circuit, began issuing
marriage licenses to gay couples following the high court's action.
Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder
Gilbert Ortiz announced his decision on Twitter.
AG John Suthers orders clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to