Photos by Valerie Urbanik | Oberlin News-Tribune
Courtney and Alyson Jagoe were wed Friday on Tappan Square.
After seven years together, and with the U.S. Supreme Court’s blessing, Courtney and Alyson Jagoe were wed Friday in a ceremony on Tappan Square.
“We never thought this day would come,” said Courtney, talking about how the court’s ruling this June in Obergefell vs. Hodges changed everything for same-sex couples who want to marry. “I thank (plaintiff James Obergefell) and his late spouse for all they’ve done for helping America and helping us.”
The Elyria couple met in November 2008 and had a commitment ceremony the following year.
Courtney moved to Oberlin in 1987 after leaving Alabama and said both she and Alyson love the community. The decision to be joined near the Clark Bandstand came naturally.
“I love the campus and I love that it’s liberal and open,” Courtney said. “It’s just wonderful. It’s everything we epitomized it being and it’s a nice place to come back to have anniversaries and picnics.”
The Jagoes were wed by the Rev. Sam Byrd of First Universalist Church of Westfield Center.
“I’m transgender myself so I’m very excited that all of us can now be legally married with all of the benefits that come with marriage,” Byrd said. “This makes me extremely happy.”
The Jagoes were surrounded by Alyson’s immediate family and close friends at the ceremony.
Excitement stretched across the couple’s faces as they read their vows to one another and placed rings on each other’s fingers.
“This happens once in a blue moon,” Byrd told the couple during the ceremony.
Same-sex marriage was only recognized in a handful of states prior to the high court’s decision this summer. Now it is the law of the land.
Obergefell, of Ohio, filed a lawsuit in 2013 after the state would not recognize his marriage to John Arthur. The couple had been legally wed in Maryland.
Obergefell wanted the Ohio registrar to identify him as the surviving spouse on his partner’s death certificate based on the license.
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to withhold marriage equality rights from same-sex couples under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Valerie Urbanik can be reached at 440-775-1611 or on Twitter @ValUrbanik.