Local LGBT Community Celebrates Rulings

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"This ruling really means a lot for us as a couple, but also as a family," Kent Love-Ramirez said. "It's really the first time that the federal government is validating us as a family, on equal terms as my siblings, and other people in our community."

Celebrations over the Supreme Court rulings were happening around the country Wednesday night, including right here in Mid-Michigan.

The LGBT community organized an event at P-Squared wine bar in Downtown Lansing beginning at 5:30 p.m., but the celebration really started in the morning when the ruling came down.

"I was just overwhelmed," Kent Love-Ramirez said about hearing the news.

That was a common feeling for gay couples who feel this ruling is long overdue.

"This ruling really means a lot for us as a couple, but also as a family," Love-Ramirez said. "It's really the first time that the federal government is validating us as a family, on equal terms as my siblings, and other people in our community."

Love-Ramirez married his partner, Diego, last year in Washington, D.C., but they've been together for 11 years. Their son is two-and-a-half years old now, and the whole family went to the White House to advocate for LGBT families just a couple of weeks ago.

"This is really the icing on top of that experience," Love-Ramirez said.

Love-Ramirez was monitoring the Supreme Court blog very closely waiting for "decision day." Robin Miner-Swartz was doing the same, and said she cried at her desk when she saw the rulings. She's trying to plan for retirement with her partner, Betsy, and jumping through the legal hoops of being a same-sex couple is getting tough. These rulings are a light at the end of the tunnel to Miner-Swartz.

"It's a huge deal for us," Miner-Swartz said. "To know now that we're on that path, to maybe not have to go through those hoops, is such a tremendous deal to us."

They realize there might still be a long path ahead, even though this is a big step forward. Advocacy groups like Equality Michigan say this should be a wake-up call to repeal Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

"Today's ruling tells Michigan that we really truly are behind the times, and the time is now or yesterday to catch up and make sure LGBT citizens can care for our partners and our families," Managing Director for Equality Michigan Emily Dievendorf said.

Once the initial shock settles in, they'll get back to work.

"I haven't cried yet, but I'm fairly certain I will at some point today," Regina Calcagno said. "DOMA's dead!"


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