Moments after the Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, Rachel Evans and her girlfriend Kelly Gleischman jumped into an Uber and headed straight into the festive commotion outside the court building in Washington to be a part of history.
They were brimming with joy as they were greeted by a crowd of smiling faces and a sea of rainbow-colored flags, celebrating the monumental victory for gay rights advocates. “It felt like our futures have opened up in a new way,” 29-year-old Evans said.
The couple has been together for two-and-a-half years and plan to wed in 2016. With the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage for same-sex couples, the two women are excited that their future marriage will be recognized across all states.
“The biggest change for us is that no matter where we move, to know that our marriage will be legal and respected is incredible. It didn’t change our marriage time line, but it changes our pride and how people view our eventual marriage,” 27-year-old Gleischman said.
As some same-sex couples across the country celebrate the landmark ruling by either getting married or planning their union, others are being forced to wait to tie the knot as some states hold off on issuing marriage licenses.
Some government officials in various Southern states have voiced concerns over the Supreme Court’s decision.
In Alabama, several probate judges are issuing same-sex marriage licenses while others are halting the issuing of licenses all together. Officials in counties including Colbert and Franklin stated that they would not be issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the lower courts fully review the Supreme Court order, according to CNN affiliate WHNT.
In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement on his website saying, “(The) federal court has usurped that right to self-governance and has mandated that states must comply with federal marriage standards — standards that are out of step … with the majority of Mississippians.”
And in Lousiana, court clerks have been advised to wait for 25 days before they begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The state’s attorney general, James D. “Buddy” Caldwell, issued a statement on his website saying, “This Supreme Court decision overturns the will of the people of Louisiana, and it takes away a right that should have been left to the states.”
The attorney general’s office added that it had not seen anything in the Supreme Court’s decision that would make the order effective immediately, according to it’s website, and said it is not yet required legally to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Brian Rios and Eos Parish say they were the first same-sex couple to go to the Ouachita Parish Courthouse in Louisiana after the Court decision Friday. But they were also the first couple to be turned away.
Rios was in a work meeting when Parish texted him to tell him that same-sex marriage was now legal in all 50 states. Out of sheer excitement, Rios immediately began jumping up and down. The two men have been together for five years, and started discussing the prospect of marriage two years ago.
After work Friday afternoon the pair met up to get married.
But Rios said that when they arrived at the court house the clerk told them that they would not be able to get married that day due to a stay of the local court. The couple was incredibly disappointed by the news.
“Everyone else we knew (in other states) could go through with this right then and there,” Parish said. “We felt betrayed.”
While the couple is disappointed that they have to wait about 25 days before they can legalize their marriage, they are thrilled by the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“We’re pleased with the decision that gay marriage is the law of the land and happy for our brothers and sisters who are able to get married now,” Rios said. They just hope those standing in their way still back down soon.
“Just let us love each other,” said Parish.