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Maryland Couple Waited for "DOMA" Decision to Get Engaged

PHOTO: Maryland couple Michele Horrigan and Deb Gardiner celebrate DOMA decision at the U.S. Supreme Court.
PHOTO: Maryland couple Michele Horrigan and Deb Gardiner celebrate DOMA decision at the U.S. Supreme Court.
June 27, 2013

Washington, D.C. - Michele Horrigan and Deb Gardiner, Gaithersburg, Md., are getting married. Even though same-sex marriage is legal now in Maryland, they were waiting to get engaged until the United States Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage as between a man and a woman. They were at the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday when it happened.

"We were surprised how emotional and overwhelmed we were," Horrigan said.

Maryland voters approved same-sex marriage through a ballot initiative last year, but Horrigan said the Supreme Court decision represents full equality.

The DOMA decision will also have a positive financial impact on their lives, in terms of tax and health benefits and more, Horrigan added.

"Probably more than a thousand different rights are now available to us that we've just been standing at the door of justice waiting for," she said.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD