Gay couples ready to say ‘I do’

 Posted By: Camila Orti

Several gay couples say they’re ready to head to the courthouse bright and early Monday morning.

Federal Judge Joseph Bataillon struck down the state’s gay marriage ban. His order says starting on March 9, gay couples can finally get legally married in Nebraska.

“I plan to be there at 7:30 a.m., they open at 8,” Barbara DiBernard of Lincoln said.

DiBernard and her partner Judy Gibson say they’ve been waiting 26 and a half years for this day.

“Now it’s here, or very close,” DiBernard said, “I’m very emotional about it, when I read the judge’s decree I felt teary.”

Even more tears were shed at the Vine Congregational United Church of Christ. Partners Corey Webster and Kevin Tjeerdsma had their wedding ceremony there last summer, but when Tjeerdsma heard the news, he decided to surprise Corey with a re-proposal.

“Make it legal, you know, that’s all we wanted,” Tjeerdsma said.

“I was shocked and overwhelmed and blown away,” Webster added, “so today is a joy day for both of us.”

Whether or not gay couples can be legally recognized in marriage starting Monday will depend on the state’s appeal, and whether or not the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals rules on it in time.

The Nebraska Family Alliance hopes they do.

“Marriage truly expresses that men and women play a vital role in a marriage relationship,” Policy Director Joseph Neuhaus said, “today represents a violation of that.”

Neuhaus also thinks it’d be unfair to the voters of Nebraska.

“70 percent of Nebraskans in 2000 voted for the definition of marriage in Nebraska being between a man and a woman, and we certainly support the voters’ rights,” he said.