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Fultz

'It isn't just about a license'

Nikki Fultz, director of Fort Wayne Pride, married her wife Kara six years ago in Washington, D.C., and called the decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act extraordinary.

"It's an extraordinary day, not only for people across our community, but also people who are in opposite-sex relationships, to be able to recognize and take part in something that is so special and beneficial," she said before Wednesday's ruling.

"It's not just about a license, a piece of paper. There are so many things that come along with it," she said. "When you tell somebody you're in a partnership, there might be confusion about what that really means. But when I say I'm married, they understand what that is – that I'm in it for the long-haul."

Fultz is also a member of the Northeast Indiana LGBTQ Coalition, a facilitator for the Gay Straight Alliance through the Center for Nonviolence and an educator with the IPFW Safe Zone.

She and her wife have four children, three 18-year-olds who were adopted and a 1-year-old son who Kara gave birth to last year.

"My wife and I, we're already married and we have a family and we'd like that to be recognized," she said. "It opens up so many options for same-sex families."

For Kenny Edholm-Reid, the decision means he can stay in his home country.

He and his husband, Josh Reid, were married five years ago in Toronto, Canada. They met while students at Carroll High School and have been dating for eight years.

"I had to flee to another country just to be able to get married," he said.

Currently, Edholm-Reid, who works for Frontier Communications, is the sole provider for the household, meaning that he has the only social security and health benefits and the house is in his name.

"If something would happen to me, Josh would lose everything."

Had the high court upheld DOMA, the couple was seriously considering moving to Canada.

"To be able to legally say, 'Hey, my country recognizes my relationship and after eight years of it being a real thing to me and my husband,' now it's a real thing to everyone else," he said.

For more on this story see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.

jcrothers@jg.net

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