Last night, starting at 6 p.m, Central Time, the City of St. Louis established a new landmark date in its Civil Rights history.
Four couples challenged Missouri's ban on same sex marriage. They sought and obtained marriage licenses from the Recorder of Deeds for the City of St. Louis. Their marriage ceremonies were held in the office of Francis G. Slay, Mayor of the City of St. Louis.
There were four ceremonies, one after the next, with families and friends in attendance.
About the couples:
John Durnell & Richard Eaton
John and Richard have been in a committed relationship for 39 years. They have shared their home in Soulard since 1981. John, 63, has spent his career restoring old homes and building new ones. Richard, 75, is a retired Missouri public school educator, teacher, counselor, and retired psychologist. Both men are strong leaders in the community,
Their community involvement includes work through, Soulard Neighborhood Housing Corporation, Peter & Paul Housing Corporation, Forest Park Southeast Housing Corporation, CDA and Compton Heights Development, Soulard Restoration Group, the Human Rights Commission, Promo, Lafayette Park United Methodist Church, the ACLU, and the University of Missouri.
Tod Martin & David Gray
Tod and David met on October 26, 1991, and have been together in a committed relationship since. Tod and David were engaged one year ago this week on June 26, 2013 - the day that the Supreme Court handed down the Windsor decision (United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. 12 (2013)).
They make their home in Tower Grove South, where they have lived since 1997.
David attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with a B.E. in Electrical Engineering. He moved to St. Louis in 1990, where he has lived since, working for McDonnell Douglas, Andersen Consulting, and his current employer - Edward Jones - where he serves as a Senior Project Manager in their IT Department. David also holds a M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis. David enjoys both road and criterium (bicycle) racing for Big Shark Racing, spending time outdoors (road or mountain bike), deep dish pizza, and scuba diving.
Tod attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with a B.A. in Chemistry and Molecular Biology. He moved to St. Louis in 1990, where he attended school and received a Ph.D. in Systems Neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis. In his spare time, Tod began volunteering for political campaigns and a hobby turned to a passion and an avocation. Tod has worked for numerous elected officials, including Alderman Florida, Alderman Gregali, Alderman Krewson, Mayor Slay, and Senator McCaskill.
Since 2007, Tod has served as Deputy Chief of Staff and State Director for Senator McCaskill. In 2005-06, Tod served as Campaign Director for Claire McCaskill's race for United States Senate.
Miranda Duschack & Karen "Mimo" Davis
Miranda and Mimo were introduced to each other in 2010. On September 2, 2012 they were married in spiritual ceremony. Together they grow specialty cut flowers at their urban farm in St. Louis, Urban Buds: City Grown Flowers. They sell at Tower Grove Farmers' Market to local florists and also furnish select events.
Miranda has a dual emphasis Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sustainable Agriculture and Sociology from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington (2003). Karen has a Master's Degree in Horticulture from North Carolina A & T University in Greensboro, North Carolina (2008).
They live in the City of St. Louis with their two dogs.
Bruce Yampolsky & Terry Garrett
Bruce Yampolsky and Terry Garrett are celebrating their 30 years of love and commitment. Both are native to St. Louis. Prior to meeting, Bruce served honorably in the United States Navy and Terry served honorably in the United States Army.
Both are very involved in community boards. Bruce and Terry attended the Democratic National Convention in 1992 as well as President Clinton's Inauguration.
Locally, they have been on and supported numerous boards such as Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) and the Missouri Silver Haired Legislature.
Bruce serves as the current President of both organizations. As the former 28th Ward Democratic Committeeman and Finance Chair of the Central City Democratic Committee, Bruce, with his partner Terry at his side, was the first openly-gay elected official in the City of St. Louis.
(Photo: St. Louis City Hall, June 25, 2014)