Article in the Tampa Bay Times
"Four Same-Sex Couples Discuss U.S. Supreme Court's DOMA Debate"
Equality Florida's Central Florida & Corporate Development Manager, Ed Lally, and husband, Phil, are featured in a spread in the Tampa Bay Times discussing the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage equality cases.
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon issue rulings in two important gay marriage cases. In weighing the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, the court will decide if the federal government can deny benefits to legally married same-sex couples that it extends to other legally married couples. In the California Proposition 8 case, justices will decide whether, or in what circumstances, a state can withhold marriage rights from same-sex couples. Times staffers Chris Zuppa and Eve Edelheit talked with four couples who will be affected by the rulings. The interviews have been edited and condensed.
Ed Lally and Philip Dinkins, both 60, of Tampa have been together for 36 years. They married in Canada in 2003.
Ed: The reason we got married was because Canada had approved gay marriage all across the country. It wasn't a very romantic proposal. I emailed Phil at work and said, "Hey, how about us getting married?" We proceeded to go to Toronto and had a wonderful little ceremony with a couple of friends as our witnesses. We got married in a church, and it really felt good to get married in the eyes of God. We both cried during our vows. It was a great feeling. We didn't think that we'd ever get to experience that. You know that's what this whole issue is about now in this country: People getting to experience getting married. Everyone should have that opportunity. We see a future of growing old together.
Philip: An interesting thing was our trip back. We were at U.S. Customs at the Toronto airport. And for the first time, I was going to fill out a joint declaration for our customs sheet. So we put both our names on it and checked it and walked up to the guard and he looked at this and looked at us and said, "You need to fill out a customs sheet, two of them." And I said, "No, we just got married." And he said, "Not here you didn't. This is U.S. Customs. Go back back and fill out another customs sheet." So we knew we were home, even if we were still at the Toronto airport. Regardless of what happens, progress has been made. Two cases heard this year. It's just a matter of time. I look at marriage as an issue of equality. For those of us in same-sex relationships, we want the same type of marriage that everybody has. It's going to happen.