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Love Always Wins in Rowan County, Kentucky

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 26/10/2015 Karen Roberts

On Saturday, my wife April and I stood before our friends and family and declared our everlasting love to one another. After years of sharing our lives and raising our daughter together, we finally held the wedding reception we've for so long only dreamt about.
A wedding was never something we thought was an option because for so long our commitment was condemned by those around us, including the government. We watched as states around ours started to recognize marriage for same-sex couples, but we never thought Kentucky would be one of them. When the Supreme Court held that our union was to be held equal to all other loving couples', we were overjoyed and made the decision to finally secure legal recognition for our family.
Imagine our surprise and hurt when we finally were allowed to be treated equally under the law and were promptly turned away in our home of Rowan County by Kim Davis. We were no strangers to being treated like second class citizens, but somehow the burn stung worse when the law and the country were on our side and one person in our own backyard was blocking our right to marry.
We partnered with the ACLU to fight for our right to obtain a valid marriage license. We were so happy to be able to go back to our clerk's office on Friday, September 4, and obtain our license. That document is the ticket to the 1,000 rights and privileges allotted to married couples. It means protection for our daughter and for us should one of us get sick or worse. We earned that right and no one person has the power to usurp that.
The people of Rowan County are people like me and my wife April. We are teachers and mothers and healthcare providers and blue collar workers and everyone in between. The people of my city are the ones who overwhelmingly passed a human rights ordinance to protect gay and transgender residents back in 2014. We believe in fairness and in following the law. Kim Davis does not define us, nor does she represent the kindness and compassion of the 23,000 people we share the roads and supermarkets and schools with every day.
At first, I knew that marriage would offer legal protections, but I didn't think that marriage would change the way I felt about our family. The ability to call April my wife has absolutely transformed the way I feel. Somehow, the legal recognition of our love has brought our relationship to a whole new level. I have a newfound respect and sensitivity to making sure I take great care of April and our family. It has been much more emotional and beautiful than I ever thought possible.
I'm so proud to have stood at April's side this Saturday with our daughter and before more than a hundred of our nearest and dearest friends and family to at long last celebrate the legal recognition of our love.
As Chicago notes in our favorite song:

"Take me as I am
Put your hand in mine now and forever
Darling here I stand, stand before you now
Deep inside I always knew
It was you, you and me
Two hearts drawn together bound by destiny
It was you and you for me
Every road leads to your door
Every step I take forever more"

I had the pleasure swaying on the dance floor with my wife to our favorite song. For those still not sure on which side of the issue they land, look into your heart and you will see that love always wins. On our special day and every day, we celebrate love.

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