GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court released its landmark ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the nation. As soon as that happened, Lori and Stephanie Hazelton rushed to the Muskegon County courthouse to say ‘I do.’
“After about two years of being together, I’d say I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her,” Lori Hazelton said of Stephanie on Sunday, her one-year anniversary. “I love how she can make me smile. How no matter even if I’m having a bad day, she’s right there.”
“I love her confidence. I love how in a bad situation she may be afraid but she knows what we have to do,” Stephanie Hazelton said, holding Lori’s hand.
The Hazeltons met nine years ago when they were in high school. Like other same-sex couples, they had spent years wondering if they would ever be legally allowed to marry.
“I’d been waiting for days. My honey and had been like watching the news, keeping such a close eye on it. And when it came, it came to a surprise, yet it was welcome,” Lori Hazelton said of the June 26, 2015 Supreme Court decision.
>>Photos: Same-sex couples marry in Michigan
The laughter and joy they shared that day has continued during their first year of marriage — though they say they have faced some trouble since the Supreme Court decision.
“Vandalism — our car,” Stephanie Hazelton said.
“They’d slash our tires. One neighbor we knew for a fact does not like us and in fact the moment that we found out we could get married she kind of let out an angry screech, got out of her apartment because she was watching the news,” Lori Hazelton said.
But they agree the decision has given people more freedom to be themselves and make marriage vows to each other.
Muskegon County Clerk Nancy Waters says there have been a lot of same-sex couples getting marriage licenses. According to a recent Gallup survey, there have been about 123,000 same-sex marriages nationwide since it was legalized.
The Hazeltons say they are concerned about this upcoming presidential race and the impact it could have on same-sex couples in the future.