JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Ruth and Elizabeth Jensen-Forbell are getting ready to celebrate their 25th anniversary, legally married in Canada.
They have a lot to say about the political and financial ramifications of the Supreme Court rulings Wednesday on same-sex marriage, but largely what it boils down to for them is love.
"I think for me it was like finally someone recognizes that we love each other and that we're together as a couple," Ruth said.
They never imagined they would see something like this in their lifetime.
"It's more important for the younger people, the next generation, the kids growing up nowadays that are killing themselves because of this," Elizabeth said.
When it comes to the next generation, constitutional law professor Rod Sullivan says these rulings threaten the future of democracy by doing an end-run around elected officials, voters and the Constitution.
"This trend has been going on for many years where the courts are getting stronger and stronger and the democratic branches of government are getting weaker and weaker," Sullivan said. "And this just shows how weak Congress is."
Nationally, the Catholic church is calling this day "a tragic day for marriage and our nation."
Paul Consbruck, an attorney and deacon for the Catholic Diocese of St. Augustine, said the political winds continue to change, but the church's view is unwavering.
"We still believe that the core values and the natural law is to honor marriage as one woman and one man," Consbruck said.
Ruth and Elizabeth do not expect Florida to be first in line to start issuing same-sex marriage licenses. In fact, under the current ruling, it doesn't have to.
What they say is important to them is that the Supreme Court has paved the way for a more compassionate Legislature.
"It should be about that you love someone and that you love them enough to commit your life to them," Ruth said.
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