Lindsay Meeks is from West Texas. The land of Friday night lights and "God Bless Americas" and not a hell of a lot else.
But instead of conforming, Meeks, now 30, was out as a teen and unapologetic about who she loved in a place where that was a pretty brave position to take.
Joelle Sedlmeyer, like Meeks, is from a town in Michigan where the rainbow simply does not shine. It’s the reason they, like many LGBT Americans, come to New York and other big cities where diversity is celebrated. Or at least tolerated.
Last fall, Sedlmeyer, 40, and Meeks did something they could not do in the states that they still consider home. They got married-- in Bushwick.
It was a ban on gay marriage in Michigan, in fact, that the Supreme Court on Friday overturned.
Meeks says that life in the big city may not be in the couple’s long-term plan. They’ve talked about getting a house one day, a garden and a picket fence.
Their home states, however, have always been crossed off the list.
“They were simply not an option,” says Meeks.
That’s because in the towns that they still consider home, their legal union in New York wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.
Under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, no matter where a married man and woman from New York traveled in the 50 states, their legal union must be recognized.
Until now, states that banned gay marriage and those that simply did not recognize non-hetero weddings, would ignore the legal rights those couples had in New York.
It was a fact of life that Gus Haberstock, 44, who works for an airline, would have to consider every time he and husband Ronny Mariano traveled.
If one of them got sick in a state with a gay marriage ban, the usual spousal rights for visitation and other legal dealings, were out the window.
”When i am thinking of places to go and looking and looking at places like Texas and Indiana, those are places I shy away from,” he told Metro.“Not just because of acceptance of marriage, but acceptance of gay people in general.”
Haberstock has a reputation for speaking his mind but when he was asked his reaction to Friday’s historic win for LGBT couples and whether he thought he’d see this day, he stammered: “No … it … No, I never … never … no.”
He and Mariano, also 44, plan to stop by the historic Stonewall Inn to toast all the heroes and she-roes whose fight for gay civil rights made this day possible.
And they’ll top off the night at Madison Square Garden seeing former gay-bathhouse-performer-turned-beloved-superstar, Bette Midler.
“I can’t think of a more fabulous, appropriate way to celebrate,” he chuckled.
Neither can we, Gus.