Same-Sex Couple Weds On Tulsa Courthouse Steps
TULSA, Oklahoma - With same-sex marriage now legal in Oklahoma, one couple used the Tulsa County Courthouse steps as the place to exchange vows Monday afternoon.
Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin have been waiting a long time to say their vows. They've been fighting the ban on same-sex marriage since 2004.
Monday that fight ended on the courthouse steps.
One after another, limos pulled up to the Tulsa County Courthouse Monday. Friends and family came out to witness the historic moment - one of the first same-sex marriages in the state.
10/6/2014 Related Story: Same-Sex Tulsa Couple Sign Marriage License
“To me, it's a really good day to be in Oklahoma, it's a really good day to be in Tulsa and see this crowd and this acceptance and all these people being so happy for love,” said supporter Maureen Stenquist.
Then for the couple everyone was waiting for, Bishop and Baldwin, their day arrived after ten years of fighting Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage.
The tears were flowing for the two women.
Bishop wore a special garter around her arm, given to her by her mother, Fern Peery.
“My mother made that garter and I wore it in my wedding when I married her father in 1951,” Peery said.
Bishop's mother admitted it took time to accept the relationship but those days are over.
“This has been a long journey and I'm very proud of her and Sharon,” she said.
The long journey ended with a surprise decision by the Supreme Court on Monday, but for the couple and those who support them, it's been a long time coming.
10/6/2014 Related Story: Stay Lifted: Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal In Oklahoma
“We have a responsibility to these people. We took on a cause on behalf of them and we needed to see it through,” Baldwin said. “Hopefully this is some measure of payback for all the support and love and care they've given us for all these years.”
As for the judge who married them, Jane Wiseman, she said she agreed to it immediately, saying she had no worries about any backlash, and that it was her job.
The couple still disagrees with the patchwork way of same-sex marriages being allowed or banned state by state.
They said there is still a fight ahead to get the U.S. Supreme Court to allow same-sex marriages across the nation.