By: Marcos Lebron
Michigan’s gay couple traveled to the city of Buffalo, NY to get legally recognized as a married couple.
Thom Wiles and Jim Smith have been together for almost 40 years and waited until Friday August 8th, 2-14 to finally say: I do.
They could not wait any longer after talking to Buffalo Ambassador Carol Speser who has welcomed gay couples from around the country, who are unable to marry in their home states.
"We hope to be among the first in line at the Buffalo city clerk's office," said Carol Speser.
Thom said, "We can't wait to get married, we drove almost eight hours and have waited almost a lifetime to enjoy the right of marriage which has been denied to us by the state of Michigan”.
Thom, overcome with emotion, struggled to summon the words to express his joy.
"It's incredible because I grew up thinking this day would never come," said Jim a retired mail carrier from Michigan.
Thom and Jim’s journey is the same as hundreds of gay couples in Michigan who rushed to local courthouses to recite marriage vows on March 22, 2014, a day after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriages.
Within hours, however, the euphoria was tempered when a federal appeals court issued an order putting the ruling on hold, “to allow a more reasoned consideration” of an emergency stay request filed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (R).
Thom and Jim now retired and in their later years decided they could not wait any longer to receive their right and were married Friday on Buffalo Westside by Carol Specer a minister and Buffalo ambassador, as friends and other Buffalo ambassadors looked on to witness the marriage.
To learn more about the Buffalo Ambassador and Carol Specer: Visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt6ZM04SSbU