Though licenses delayed, local same-sex couples ready to marry

Though licenses delayed, local same-sex couples ready to marry

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Earl Benjamin and his fiance, Michael Robinson, were hopeful they'd be the first same-sex couple married in the Crescent City, but after a decision by Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to withhold marriage licenses until ordered by the Supreme Court to issue them, the couple is still confident their love will soon be legally recognized by the state.

"We are resilient, we are determined and we're not going to give up, we will be back to the marriage certificate office again until we are issued a license," Robinson said.

Sarah and Celeste Martin were married in Massachusetts, but just legally changed their last name as they prepare to welcome a baby into their family.

"We're in love and we're together because we want to be and it feels good, it feels good to be backed by that, by our government, the Supreme Court," Celeste Martin said.

Catholic Church leaders aren't pleased with the Supreme Court's decision to recognize marriage as a national right regardless of sexual orientation, and they caution the ruling could rewrite the definition of a family.

"I do think that this will have an effect on family life and what family means for generations to come. At the same time we also remember that we are called by Christianity to respect all of God's people," Archbishop Gregory Aymond said.

Aymond wants Catholics to know, though, that the ruling will only strengthen 'traditional' marriage.

"Love is Love and I certainly accept that, but at the same time, married love is between a man and a woman for their unity and also for the reproduction of children, and so it's really not possible to see it as the same as marriage," Aymond said.

But the Supreme Court sees it differently, and even as Gov. Bobby Jindal calls the ruling an attack on religion and state's rights, the people who fought for marriage equality are still ready to walk down the aisle.

"We just want the rights too. We want the rights to be boring, we want the rights to have children we want the rights to bring children to our home, we want the rights to raise them, and that's what we're asking for. That's not much - it's what everyone else has and we deserve that," Benjamin said.

Officials estimate it could take more than three weeks before the state begins issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

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