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Fifteen Same-Sex Couples Wed On Steps Of Wichita's Historic Courthouse

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Hugo Phan
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Correction: A previous posting of this story incorrectly stated 14 couples were wed; an additional couple registered after the ceremony

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court lifted Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, allowing couples across the state to apply for marriage licenses. On Monday night, 15 of those couples tied the knot on the steps of Wichita’s historic courthouse. 

With temperatures in the mid-20s and snow and ice covering the sidewalks, a crowd of a couple hundred people gathered nearby, including some protestors.

“God says 'no,'” screamed one man.

He was peacefully escorted away by those coming to support the participants. The ceremony continued.

Afterwards, Lisa Patalivo stood beside her now legal wife, Angela Carlisle. She says it was important to share this experience with other couples.

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Credit Hugo Phan
Angela Carlisle, left, and wife Lisa Patalivo hold up their marriage license

“(We wanted) be a part of history and show everyone we’re no different than anybody else,” she says. “If you love somebody, you love somebody.”

Carlisle says the lift of the same-sex marriage ban is bigger than just a social movement—it provides real, legal protection in the case of illness or death.

“You want to financially make sure the other one’s OK if something does occur,” Carlisle says. “And the big one is you want to be able to provide health insurance to the other one, and you’re not able to do that if you’re not a married couple.” 

Kansas’ ban on gay marriage is on hold until ongoing legal battles are settled, but participants said they’re optimistic about where their state and country are headed.

View the ceremony below: