Todd and Jeffrey Delmay, a pioneering Florida gay couple,
go to Washington
They crossed the threshold;
let couples nationwide do the same, they say
Florida marriage plaintiffs Todd and Jeffrey Delmay are at the turning point of history. Just 16 weeks ago, they were the second same-sex couple to be married in Florida. This morning they are in Washington D.C., where they will participate in a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the freedom to marry.
"This isn't about one case or one individual state. It's really about the entire nation and what it means to be a free people and to have civil rights," Todd Delmay said.
"We felt such love and support when we were going through our case, and we just felt like we had to be here to support all the plaintiffs that are going to be heard tomorrow."
"We definitely want the Supreme Court to decide it for the country," said Jeffrey Delmay. "That way, we don't have to worry, and everybody can enjoy what we have enjoyed so far."
Equality Florida began its “Get Engaged” campaign in June 2013. Seven months later, the Delmays were among six same-sex couples who, along with Equality Florida Institute and the National Center for Lesbian Rights, sued in state court to overturn Florida’s 2008 ban on same-sex marriage. A year after that, the judge in their case let stand her favorable ruling and officiated their wedding. The next day the ban was overturned statewide by a federal judge.
Since then, thousands of gay and lesbian couples have married in Florida. But the legality of those marriages has always depended on what the Supreme Court ultimately decides.
“The energy around here is amazing,” Todd Delmay said Monday night, as he, Jeffrey and Equality Florida staffer Hannah Willard were on their way to a private reception for plaintiffs in same-sex marriage cases nationwide. Couples from more than 30 states attended, including one of the couples from the first marriage equality lawsuit filed in Hawaii in 1991.
“Plaintiffs from across the nation and across the decades,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of the national organization Freedom to Marry.
Earlier in the day the Delmays were interviewed for a forthcoming documentary about the history of the marriage equality movement by filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein and Eyepop Productions.
Todd noted that plenty of opposition was visible on the streets around the Supreme Court as well. But, speaking of today’s rally, he said, “Tomorrow, love will be louder.”