Married Oct. 17, 2014

"Normally there wouldn't be anything momentous about a couple getting married. What is momentous about our marriage though, is that we actually could get married.

We had been waiting for six years, for the government of the USA and Arizona in particular, to get it right. To realize that gay couples, in a loving committed relationship are no different than straight couples. We get up, go to work, raise our families and pay taxes.  The majority of us, (just like people who happen to be straight) live our lives with integrity and good intention. Up until Friday, October 17, the state of Arizona had told the gay population that we are different. That our loving committed relationships fell short of the right to marry. On October 17 that changed.

My wife Geani, (I keep finding it amazing to be able to call her my wife) and I met 6 years ago through mutual friends. The connection we had was felt from the beginning. It has been a story similar to many other relationships. We fell in love, knew each other was "the one" and moved in together. The difference in our story compared to straight couples, was to never dream we could ever be married. With that in mind, 5 years ago, we had a commitment ceremony, just the two of us, in Cinque Terre, Italy at the Villa del 'Amore (The Pathway of Love). There we placed our lock of commitment next to many other locks, on a fence overlooking the Ligurian Sea. It was a moving, loving ceremony in a beautiful part of the world and it meant so much to us, yet there was the lingering feeling that this fell short.

We came back home and went about our lives as any other married couple, yet we were unmarried. We resigned ourselves to the fact that gay marriage would most probably not become legal in our lifetime. Then the past couple of years with the tide starting to turn in our favor, we started having hope.

On Friday morning, after we heard the news of Judge Sedwick striking down the gay marriage ban in Arizona, we kept ourselves glued to the TV, radio, or Internet. Would we be able to get married today? The answer hinged on the attorney general giving up the fight. The opinion of the news channels was that the right for us to get married wouldn't go into effect until the following week.

Kathy Grant and Geani Ronne exchange vows Oct. 17, 2014, outside the Maricopa County Clerk of the Superior Court's office after receiving their marriage license. Photos by Intrinsic Imagery.

So, Geani went off to a dentist appointment and I surfed the Internet for the latest news. Later in the morning it happened. We could get married immediately. Geani and I exchanged texts simultaneously, with both of us saying, "Let's get ready go get married." She came home in a rush, while I called my daughter to see if she could leave work early to come with us. We got out of our closet (pun intended) the clothes we had previously chosen to wear for our marriage ceremony. It felt like a whirlwind as we left to pick up my daughter Janet. We were quite incredulous of this turn of events, so much so, that halfway to the courthouse we both had to double and triple check to make sure we had our driver licenses so we could get our marriage license.

We walked into the office at the courthouse and with smiles and congratulations from the clerks, we obtained something we originally had no hope to ever get: our marriage license. Outside of the office were people celebrating and a group of ministers offering to perform marriage ceremonies. As we were looking around the courtyard a minister approached us asking if we would allow her to perform our ceremony. At the same time, reporters from two news channels asked if they could film our ceremony. What was going to be a small private ceremony, suddenly turned into the privilege of becoming the center of a news story about love."

— Kathy Grant and Geani Ronne

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