The Memphis couple and their attorney involved in the same-sex marriage case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court were honored in a ceremony hosted by Freedom to Marry on Tuesday afternoon at the Memphis Gay & Lesbian Community Center.
"My greatest wish for you is that by June, you are as married in this building as you are on the base," said Tennessee Equality Project's Anne Brownlee Gullick, addressing DeKoe and Kostura. DeKoe is on active duty in the Army Reserves, and since the federal government recognizes same-sex marriages, the couple is considered to be married when they visit a military base. DeKoe and Kostura married in New York in 2011.
DeKoe said they realize that they're at the center of what could be a ground-breaking case that has potential to end marriage discrimination across the country once and for all.
"We're at the center of this giant hurricane," DeKoe said. "We realize how big it is. It's going to be a crazy day in Tennessee and across the country when this decision comes down in our favor. And I'm excited for it."
Although the high court is expected to rule in favor of marriage equality, Holland said that, in the case that it does not, there is a back-up plan.
"The lawyers don't stop. We'll continue to bring cases," Holland said. "We'll continue our fight, but we're hopeful that we will join the 36 other states that recognize same-sex marriage, so Thomas and Ijpe won't have to continue to engage in 'Are we married? Are we not?' when they cross a state boundary."