Hawaii News Now – KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii same-sex marriage pioneer Genora Dancel legally married her partner of 15 years on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, 23 years to the day that she and other gay activists had their gay marriages applications rejected at the state Health Department, reports Hawaii News Now:

Dancel, 53, Kathryn Dennis, 43, were married in a short ceremony in the state Supreme Court with Dennis’ parents and sister as wedding guests.

On Dec. 17, 1990, Dancel and former partner Ninia Baehr, along with two other gay couples walked into the State Health Department and were denied marriage licenses, starting the battle for same-sex marriage in Hawaii.

“Today we stand and declare our love,” Dennis said as she read her vows in Tuesday’s ceremony. “Today, we stand before family and a few of our heroes to wed and to receive the respect of our union that you and Dan fought for.”

She was referring to Intermediate Court of Appeals Judge Dan Foley.

He married the couple in the same Supreme Court room where he represented those three gay couples in that first fight for marriage equality more than two decades ago.

“I declare, by the virtue of the authority vested in me by the state of Hawaii, that you are now married,” Foley said as the wedding came to a close. “You may now kiss your bride.”

“We have I don’t know how many countries in North America, South America, Europe, Iceland, South Africa, New Zealand, that recognize same-sex marriage, and it all started in this court room 21 years ago,” Foley told reporters after the ceremony.

“There’s nothing to remember about how hard it was. All the bad went away. And it’s just all good now,” Dancel said after her wedding.

Dennis said, “I just feel like ‘finally!’ Because we’ve been together for 15 years and we asked each other to marry each other way back then and so now we’re finally actually really married.”

Continue reading the article on Hawaii New Now.