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Marriage Equality

Meet 44 of the New Edie Windsors

Meet 44 of the New Edie Windsors


These are the couples who brought the cases that just won marriage in their home states.

In a surprise move Monday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court denied to hear all seven of the petitions currently pending before it related to marriage equality. That means the pro-marriage equality rulings in those cases can stand and same-sex marriages can start right away in five states, thanks to the plaintiffs in Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

Here are 22 of the couples to which LGBT Americans can extend their thanks -- and their congratulations.


Many of the Indiana plaintiff couples were organized by Lambda Legal. They include Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney (below left), for whom the case is particularly urgent: Quasney has been fighting ovarian cancer for the last five years, and they desperately need the protection of marriage for their two children. The partners of 13 years were married last year in Massachusetts.


They're joined in the suit by Henry Greene and Glenn Funkhouser (above right), who have been together 22 years and are also raising a child. Esther Fuller and Rae Baskin (above center) have been in a relationship for 24 years, and need the protection of marriage as they face health challenges together. Fuller was recently treated for breast cancer and a broken hip.


Plaintiffs Lyn Judkins and Bonnie Everly (above left), also together for 13 years, both have mobility impairments due to injuries suffered when they were struck by a drunk driver. And Dawn Carver and Pam Eanes (above right) are both emergency responders. Together 17 years, Carver is a police officer and Eanes is a fire department captain.

There are three other marriage cases pending in Indiana, but the plaintiffs in those cases have been a bit less eager to share the limelight. They include Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, who also face a serious cancer diagnosis after 27 years together. Other plaintiffs are a mix of already-married couples seeking to have licenses recognized and unmarried couples who wish to obtain a license in their home state of Indiana.

Images courtesy of Lambda Legal.



The American Civil Liberties Union found eight couples for its lawsuit in Wisconsin, all together for many years.

Carol Schumacher and Virginia Wolf (below left) met in Kansas in 1975 and married recently in Minnesota. They've raised two kids and now have teenage grandchildren. The denial of marriage recognition has meant that Schumacher could not receive family leave from her job with the city of Eau Claire when Wolf was ill.


Charvonne Kemp and Marie Carlson (above center) have been waiting for marriage to be made legal in their home state, rather than traveling elsewhere to obtain a license. They have two kids and served on the PTA, but Marie's employer doesn't recognize their relationship, so she had to use vacation time to attend the funeral of Charvonne's mother.

Judi Trampf and Katy Heyning (above right) faced a scary medical crisis a decade ago: Katy had a seizure while traveling, and even though they had drawn up the correct paperwork, hospital personnel wouldn't recognize Judi as her partner. They've been together 25 years, and both work at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.


Roy Badger and Garth Wangemann's (above left) first date was Election Day of 1976, when they voted for Carter and Ford, respectively. Apparently, opposites attract, as their 40th anniversary approaches. Like many other couples, they faced a medical emergency recently: Wangemann had a lung removed and was in a coma for three weeks. During that time, his father tried to override Badger's power of attorney to have Wangemann removed from life support.

Johannes Wallmann and Keith Borden (above right) have seen recognition for their marriage come and go across multiple jurisdictions. Johannes is a Canadian citizen, and after they met in New York City and dated for a while, Keith planned to move to Canada so they could be together. The United States at that time would not have allowed Johannes to stay on his temporary visa. Before they could move to Canada, a job opened in California, so they moved there and got married, but another employment move brought them to Madison, where their license simply ceased to exist as far as the state was concerned.


Salud Garcia and Pam Kleiss (above left) both worked for the AARP, but in different offices. When they finally met, nearly 20 years ago, they had instant chemistry. When Kleiss gave birth to their first child in 2001, Garcia was denied access to the birthing room because the hospital didn't consider them to be family.

Kami Young and Karina Willes (above center) met at a New Year's party in the first moments of 2001 and are now starting a family -- but only Young, the birth mother, is recognized as a parent.

Bill Hurtubise and Dean Palmer (above right) have three young children, all adoptees. They need access to marriage so that their kids can be protected if anything should happen to either of them.

Images courtesy of ACLU.



The Utah case was filed by a private law firm, with minimal involvement from nonprofits, so details on the plaintiff couples are less forthcoming than in other states.


Cate Call and Karen Archer (above left) have an Iowa marriage license, but they need marriage to protect their relationship in their home state. Archer recently retired and has some physical handicaps.

Derek Kitchen and Moudi Sbeity (above center) were raised in Mormon and Muslim families, respectively. They met online, started a business together selling hummus, and after a bumpy coming-out, now enjoy the support of their families.

Laurie Wood and Kody Partridge (above right) met in 2010 and married during the brief window when marriage was legal in Utah. They too enjoy the support of their family, including Partridge's 82-year-old father.

Images courtesy of Restore Our Humanity.



There are two groups of plaintiffs in Virginia: one managed by the ACLU, and another managed by the American Foundation for Equal Rights.


Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd (above left) are raising a daughter, Lydia, together. After she was born, one of the hospital nurses refused to cooperate with the couple, making them feel unwelcome. They have extensive paperwork to protect their rights, but that still doesn't replicate a legal marriage.

Joanne Harris and Jessi Duff (above right) have been together more than a decade and are raising a 4-year-old son. They're active in various religious groups and work for government agencies that look after public health and welfare. They had a commitment ceremony in 2006, but their son acknowledges that his moms aren't fully married.


Tim Bostic and Tony London (above left) have been together 25 years. Bostic's a humanities and English professor, and London became a real estate agent after serving in the U.S. Navy.

Carol Schall and Mary Townley (above right) are raising a teenage daughter together and have been a couple for 30 years. Both are educators, and they have a California marriage that dates back to the summer of 2008, before Proposition 8 was enacted.

Images courtesy of ACLU and American Foundation for Equal Rights.



News1_0Mary Bishop and Sharon Baldwin (pictured right) filed suit in Oklahoma in 2004 and have been waiting a decade for a resolution. They were inspired by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who issued marriage licenses in 2004. They intended to marry in San Francisco, but after a court halted the weddings they filed suit in their home state the day after voters passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

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