A Tampa couple waited nearly three decades to tie the knot

A Tampa couple waited nearly three decades to tie the knot (Image 1)

For some gay couples, Tuesday is a day they have been waiting for for decades.They will finally be legal be able to wed in the state of Florida.

Hope Barclay and Laura Franks have been in a relationship for 28 years. They recall fighting for equal rights shortly after they began their relationship.

“We fought for human rights for many years, right Laura?” asked Barclay of her partner.

“Actually we were in a march 27 years ago, where we did an interview. Way back then, and we actually were on TV.” Franks said.

The couple was married several years ago by a local church leader, but their union was not recognized by the state.

Under a federal judge’s ruling, same-sex couples will be able to obtain a wedding license in all Florida counties starting Tuesday.

Last-minute legal maneuverings are ongoing, and it is uncertain whether same-sex couples throughout Florida also will be allowed to obtain licenses then.

But Franks and Barclay are confident now that Attorney General Pam Bondi has said she would not fight the issue, they are good to go.

They say getting married is not just about equality. It’s about enjoying the legal benefits many straight couples take for granted.

“For us to go and say, we want this, or if there’s a doctor involved, or a hospital involved, yes, tell my partner,” Franks said. “She’s not just my lover, my fling. She’s my wife.”

“You know to be able to make decisions like something happens to me. God forbid. I’m brain dead,” said Barclay. “She would be able to say she doesn’t want to live this way or whatever.”

DIGITAL_Gay Marriage Legend

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