For the 12th year, John Gorsline and Jonathan Lebolt went to the John Marshall Courthouse in Richmond with other same sex couples and supporters to get a marriage certificate.
In years past same sex couples were denied, but last year a federal judge struck down Virginia’s ban on same sex marriage calling it unconstitutional.
This year the couple hopes is the last time they’ll carry out this tradition. They moved here from New York, hoping and dreaming of the day they would legally be able to be married in Virginia in front of friends and family.
“We moved to a state where there were a number of anti gay laws passed including laws against marriage,” said Lebolt.
Friday their dreams became a reality as Gorsline and Lebolt walked into the courthouse, and for the first time, came out with a marriage certificate. Shortly after, a marriage ceremony was held as the couple recited personal vows and exchanged rings before saying I do, emphasizing they couldn’t have gotten here on their own.
“We feel so grateful to all of the friends that we’ve made here and so many heterosexual supporters who have seen us through this year after year and have been unwavering in their support,” said Lebolt.
But the couple says its just a first step in the fight for equality.
“There’s a lot to be done yet to make equality real for all Virginians,” said Gorsline.
But he says he believes it’s only a matter of time, calling Friday a great example of what’s possible.
“It’s a big momentous day for us personally but it also says that Virginia continues to be for loving and it’s growing more love all the time.”