Hawaii issued 40 licenses for same-sex marriages Monday as gay marriages began in the state with six couples at a Waikiki resort exchanging vows side-by-side in front of a few hundred guests.
CLEVELAND - Scott Swaggerty and his life partner, Scott Smith, were overjoyed by the U.S. Supreme Court rulings on Wednesday striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.
"The Supreme Court ruled on behalf of equal rights among Americans is basically what it boils down to," Swaggerty said.
"It means that if I live in California, if I have a loving partner, committed partner and I have children and we love each other even in Ohio, I can file my federal taxes jointly with my partner," said Phyllis Harris, spokeswoman for the Lesbian and Gay Community Service Center of Greater Cleveland.
Harris said although 13 states recognize same sex marriage, there have been no federally mandated rights to support the unions.
"There's like over 3,000 safety net protections that a heterosexual couple can have once they get married that LGBT people could not have, were exempted from."
Swaggerty and Smith have been together for 10 years. They were among hundreds of couples who got married during a mass wedding service in Cleveland last year, but they're not legally married in Ohio.
"Hey, in our eyes and in our family's eyes, we are a couple," he said. "Recently, he had to go to the hospital and it was very difficult for me to get into the hospital to the emergency room with him because they were like you're not family. A lot of people can't get things they need like power of attorney."
"I had to do it on my own," said Swaggerty's partner Scott Smith. "Nobody likes to go through things like that on their own."
Even with the uncertainty following Wednesday's ruling, the decision is giving same sex couples hope.
"In terms of the work that we have to do here, it really just gives us momentum toward getting full equality in Ohio," said Harris.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Thursday sharply criticized U.S. states that are defying the Pentagon.
A funeral home director and the attorney for John Arthur confirm that he died early Tuesday at home. He had suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease.
A new plaintiff has joined a fight to have gay marriages recognized in Ohio despite a statewide ban.
The government on Thursday said that all legally married gay couples will be able to file joint federal tax returns even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages.
An amusement park in Ohio is canceling a wedding contest after a gay couple organized a protest against the promotion.
A federal judge on Tuesday extended a temporary restraining order preventing state authorities from enforcing their ban on gay marriage against two men who got married in another state as one of them nears death.