Today’s historic development for gay rights in the Obergefell v. Hodges case has already started a ripple effect across the country including those same-sex couples in Acadiana.
Friday, June 26th is a historical day for the LGBT community as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing same sex marriage in all 50 states, and what’s being recognized as a day of celebration for many in Acadiana.
Ted Richard President of the Acadiana Pride Festival moved to Houston in the 80’s because he found it too difficult to live in Louisiana as a gay man. “All we want is marriage. It’s the same thing. We don’t call it a heterosexual marriage, we dont call it an interracial marriage. We dont call it anything else. It’s a marriage. We want the same rights that every other American citizen has.”
Lynette and Candy Domengeaux traveled more than fifteen hundred miles to New York to get married in 2013.
“Well I was on the phone with Lynette and she called me. She was crying too much to even say anything, but I heard the announcement over the phone from the TV and I was in shock.” said Candy Domengeaux
Lynette and Candy say their lives will now have a lot more security. They now have the same legal protections other married couples have.
“This changes things in the way of protection that we have to care for our families. Now we have measures in place that are equal to everyone else’s.” said Lynette Domengeaux.
Lafayette Attorney Joshua S. Guillory tried a case last September that challenged Louisiana’s ban on same sex marriage and won. Louisiana appealed the case forcing Guillory to retry it in the Louisiana Supreme Court. They were told a ruling wouldn’t be made until the US Supreme Court made a decision. Although Guillory and his client’s have not been contacted directly, he sees today as a victory. “Some people may say this is the end of the same sex marriage argument or marriage equality but in reality it’s almost the beginning. There are still areas of the law where we discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation.”
Richard agrees there is still a long road ahead, but says today is worthy of celebration. “So the journey still continues but today is a huge, huge victory and we are going to count it as a milestone in our LGBT history and we’re going to celebrate that today.”