More than two dozen couples lined up to say “I do” at the Bexar County Clerk’s Office Friday, as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down gay marriage bans across the country.
Shortly after the Supreme Court ruling, the Clerk’s Office sprung into action. Deputy Clerk Thomas Koening left his office to get an opinion from District Attorney Nice LaHood. “We’re going to see what happens legally once it’s interpreted by the DA; then we’ll have an answer for you,” Koening said, as he rushed into an elevator.
Meanwhile, already waiting for the decision to be announced in the clerk’s office were 40-year-old Jon Truho and 52-year old Larry Stern. Both were dressed in red polo shirts, a color nationally used to represent marriage equality.
“We came here early just to celebrate, we were waiting outside and just decided to go for it,” Truho said. “We actually did not plan it today, we were just going to kind of let reciprocity follow us and we thought ‘no, let’s do it our home state,’ we deserved it, we earned it,” Stern added.
The couple has been together 17 years and had previously married in California. Donna and Jordan Reed were the next to drop by. They have been together for 47 years, and have also been previously married in California. The duo has been ready for weeks, said Jordan, as she pulled out an envelope that stated, “Cash for marriage license.”
“We had our envelope with $81 in our purse,” said Jordan. “Just waiting for the day when the time would come,” Donna added.
Over the rest of the morning, nearly two dozen couples entered the office. Some like Lisa Santiago and her partner, Veronica Uviedo, were barely able to contain their emotions. “We wanted to get married here, we could have gotten married anywhere else,” Santiago said, with tears in her eyes. “But Texas is our home
and this is where we wanted to get married.”
The news reached people different ways. Eliza McAdams and Christina Parker got the message seconds after the decision was announced on SCOTUS Blog. Parker said she had just dropped McAdams off at work. “And so as soon as I saw it, I screamed in the car and called her to let her know and said, ‘Oh my god, we’re getting married today,’” said Parker.
McAdams then took time off from work to head to the courthouse. It would be about two hours before the clerk’s office would distribute marriage licenses.
Being first in line, Truho and Stern were the first to obtain one. They bounced between probate courts to get a waiver that would eliminate the 72-hour waiting period, and were married in County Court 7 by Judge Genie Wright.
Being the first gay couple married in San Antonio wasn’t on their agenda but they’re proud to have the Texas seal on their marriage license. “At the very minimum, it’s Bexar County history,” Stern said. “It’s great.”