by Maggie Nixon
Amy Zimmerman and Angel Spencer finally shared a moment they’ve been waiting almost 10 years for.
After a trip to the Marshall County Clerk’s Office Thursday afternoon, the couple was able to obtain a marriage license – something they’d been denied until Indiana District Judge Richard Young Wednesday said the state’s ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause. Immediately after obtaining the license, the women were married – the first gay couple to wed in Marshall County.
“This is just confirmation of the love we have,” Amy said. “We’ve built this family together, and raised four beautiful children together. We have a strong, blended family and now that we’re legally married, I have the same rights as any other married woman would have.”
Having the choice to wed was a decision the ladies didn’t have earlier this week, but once the opportunity presented itself, the couple moved quickly. “There are a lot of straight and gay couples that don’t want to get married,” Amy said, “and that’s just it – they have that right.”
Angel was initially frustrated with the county, when she contacted them as soon as she heard of the lifted ban. “I called right away, but they weren’t issuing licenses; they didn’t know about the decision yet. I called back later, but they said they needed confirmation from the state so that was that,” she said. Persisting, she called again later in the day and again Thursday morning. ” I called first thing, and they still needed a letter – proper documentation from the state – to process. I heard that Cass County started issuing them, so I called again at 2. They’d gotten confirmation from the state attorney general and we went in right away.”
Heterosexual couples have had basic rights that this couple has been denied, such as being able to visit their spouse in the hospital, and should something happen that one should pass away, custody of their children and posession of their home.
“We have built this family, this home together,” Amy said. “There are so many things people take for granted, that you don’t realize. It was important that once we had the chance we’d do it.”
“There was no question,” Angel said. “We’ve been together 10 years. Now we won’t lose what we’ve built here. She’s been with me as long as I’ve worked full time. She deserves my Social Security benefits, if something happens to me, and vice versa.”
Amy thanks her employer who she says has always been very supportive of her lifestyle, noting that she is aware not everyone accepts a gay couple. She said, “I’m blessed to work for a company that just let me take off to get married.” Angel added that the community accepts them, greets them and their kids too, and being able to have the marriage certificate is verification of a family’s love. The couple, who raises bulldogs in their Bourbon home, plans to combine their names and take “Spencerman” as a shared married last name.
“Everything’s going to go on the same,” Angel said. “It’s just that now we have confirmation. The things most people take for granted, we will be able to have now.”