June 21, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
Same-sex couples marry outside Supreme Court
mass wedding, same-sex marriage, gay marriage, Supreme Court, Proposition 8, Defense of Marriage Act, Prop 8, DOMA, gay news, LGBT, Washington Blade, marriage equality

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

More than two dozen same-sex couples exchanged vows in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday.

25 couples traveled from Columbus, Ohio, to the nation’s capital as part of the “C-Bus of Love” ride the online group MarriageEvolved organized to highlight the lack of marriage rights for gays and lesbians in 38 states. Those who traveled to D.C. to get married were also able to walk down the steps of the Supreme Court after they tied the knot.

“We’re holding our head up being proud to do this,” Monica Taylor of Wyandotte, Mich., who married her partner of more than 15 years, Jeanette Bowton, told the Washington Blade. “Love is love.”

Dennis Niekro and Paul Richmond of Columbus, Ohio, who have been together for seven and a half years, said they decided to travel to D.C. to get married because they are unable to tie the knot in the Buckeye State.

“We love each other and we want to spend the rest of our lives together,” Niekro said.

Gays and lesbians are able to legally marry in nine states and D.C.

Delaware’s same-sex marriage law takes effect on July 1. Gays and lesbians in Minnesota and Rhode Island will be able to exchange vows as of August 1.

The Supreme Court next week is widely expected to rule on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

David Gutierrez of Columbus, Ohio, who married his partner of nearly 10 years, James Winnett, told the Blade outside the Supreme Court he hopes the justices make same-sex marriage “completely legal federally.”

Other couples with whom he and Winnett traveled to D.C. from the Buckeye State shared his optimism.

“We’re hoping for favorable rulings,” Richmond said.

Angela Schuske of Maryville, Tenn., said after she and her partner of nearly seven years, Cheryl Davidson, exchanged vows that she feels any decision that strikes down Prop 8 or DOMA would have what she described as a positive impact in Tennessee and other states in which same-sex couples cannot marry.

“It might open their eyes a little more to realize that we’re their neighbors,” Schuske said. “We work with them every day. We run into them in the grocery store. We’re just like everybody else.”

Taylor agreed.

“If they don’t do it now, it’s going to happen soon enough so they might as well just do it,” she said.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

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Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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