Sarah Hunt and McKenzie Hill kiss after an informal wedding ceremony with a small group of friends in the backyard of their home Wednesday evening. The couple drove to St. Joseph County earlier in the day to fill out a marriage license application after an Indiana judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage. (Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth) McKenzie Hill and Sarah Hunt smile as friends applauded after their marriage was officiated by longtime friend Courtney Mills during an informal ceremony in the backyard of their home Wednesday evening. The couple drove to St. Joseph County earlier in the day to fill out a marriage license application after an Indiana judge struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.(Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo) Sarah Hunt watches as spouse McKenzie Hill signs their marriage application Wednesday evening after an informal wedding ceremony with a small group of friends in the backyard of their home. The couple have been together for 8 1/2 years. (Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo) McKenzie Hill and partner Sarah Hunt sit with their 23-month-old daughter, Elsie Hunt, at their home in Goshen. The couple have been together for eight years. They've wanted to get married for years, said Hill, and has been on the phone with the Elkhart County Courthouse to find out when they can go. "We'll drive down to Indy if we have to," said Hill.(Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)
Indiana judge’s decision to strike down same-sex marriage ban gives Goshen couple hope
GOSHEN — McKenzie Hill and Sarah Hunt knew shortly after meeting eight-and-a-half years ago that wedding bells would ring for them someday.
That day came Wednesday, June 25.
The Goshen couple started getting texts and phone calls from excited friends Wednesday afternoon after an Indiana judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. They called the Elkhart County clerk’s office to find out more, but there was little information.
At that point, County Clerk Wendy Hudson was waiting on official direction from the state before issuing marriage license applications to same-sex couples. She later said the county courts would be open Thursday morning, June 26, and accepting applications from same-sex partners.
But instead of playing a waiting game, Hill and Hunt drove to St. Joseph County and filled out an application there. They’re getting married in their backyard Wednesday evening with a small group of friends.
“Our love is the same as a heterosexual couple’s love,” Hunt said. “It’s just two people who fell in love. That’s how we see it. We don’t see it any different, and it would be awesome if Indiana would see it that way.”
Hunt worries that it’s just a matter of time before the judge’s decision is appealed, but still, she is hopeful.
Hill and Hunt have a daughter, Elsie, who was born through artificial insemination. Elsie, who will be 2 years old in July, was diagnosed with diabetes one day before her first birthday. Hill said to be legally married to Hunt would allow better health insurance options for their daughter.
Marriage has emotional significance for their daughter as well, Hunt added.
“As she grows up, we don’t want her to think of herself as being different because she has two moms,” Hunt said. “Right now, with the way the world is, it’s becoming more and more of an accepted thing. There are more and more same-sex couples having kids and raising kids.”
Hill is happy to see the same-sex marriage issue “getting the attention it deserves” in Indiana.
“I’m definitely hopeful,” Hunt added. “Even if it does get some sort of stop to it, at least this happened. Somebody recognized that it’s against our rights and we should be allowed to be married.”