Long wait over for Michigan same-sex couple who started equality battle

For April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, the long wait is over.

 Joy, excitement and relief. 

April DeBoer. Jayne Rowse and their legal team got their wish Friday - a ruling from the US Supreme Court making same sex marriage legal in all 50 states.

"I don't know that we woke up today thinking today was the day," April DeBoer said. "But it is and we're so happy - we're so happy."

"I still can't believe I'm kind of standing here right now," said Jayne Rowse. "So it hasn't sunk in. We're just like everybody else - we're the next door neighbor - we're your co-worker - we're your sister - we're your brother, we're your child and we do deserve the same rights as everybody else and our kids deserve the same rights."

It started with the kids - this was initially an adoption battle for april and jayne who could not jointly adopt their children because of Michigan's 2004 Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Judge Bernard Friedman suggested they challenge that ban. A trial was held and Friedman ruled the ban unconstitutional - the Sixth Circuit Court reversed that and then it was on to the United States Supreme Court and now this.

On Friday the celebration underway in Ann Arbor. Speeches and cheers so many have waited so long for this moment.

"We never could have in a million years, anticipated this case would go where it ended up going," said Dana Nessell, Rowse and DeBoer's attorney.

"Same-sex couples, their families, their children, have to be treated with dignity and respect," said Carole Stanyar.

"I feel like an American today," said Carl Struble of the Jackson LGBT Community Center. "I've waited 61 years for this day, it's been a long and ardous journey."

But many were mindful that this is not the end. The Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender community is still not protected from discrimination here in Michigan.

"There's a lot of work that still needs to be done," said Rev. Greg Briggs, associate pastor Bethlehem United Church of Christ. "This is not the end of it - you can get married on a Friday and fired on a Monday. You can get kicked out of your house on a Monday - and that's just not just - that's not right."

But that's a fight for tomorrow - this was a day to celebrate.

They tied the knot - 77-year-old Marge Eide and 78-year-old Ann Sorrell - together 43 years - finally, legally, married.

So many people described the day as surreal. 

And for so many, the long wait is over.
 


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