Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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BR men say state's delays won't stop their marriage

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BATON ROUGE - A local same-sex couple said Friday was filled with excitement and disappointment for them after the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage and Louisiana's decision to hold off issueing marriage licenses.

Tom Merrill and Patrick Cain have dated for more than 22 years and said they leaped with joy when the ruling came down.

"I mean it's been like really, really exciting. We've both been jumping around, and people have been calling. People have been congratulating us," said Merrill. "As I told somebody I was so excited I cried, and he said he cried too."

Merrill and Cain expected to have a marriage license in hand by the end of the day, but Clerk of Court offices across the state will wait out the Supreme Court rehearing process that lasts 25 days. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell says the state will wait for a mandate from the courts before handing out same-sex marriage licenses.

"We actually have our birth certificates, passports and everything in the car and we're all ready to go do it," said Cain. "Then to get the notification that they were going to wait was disappointing."

Merrill and Cain now plan to travel to another state soon to get a marriage license to finally become a legal couple. The Supreme Court's decision also ruled all states must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. According to reports, Louisiana and Mississippi are the only two states still holding out on issuing licenses. Three lesbian couples obtained licenses and married Friday in Hattiesburg amid confusion over when weddings can legally begin.

"We're not going to wait the 25 days. We're not going to wait that long," said Merrill. "We've waited 22.5 years, and we're going to make it happen wherever we can make it happen now."

The couple says the world will be a better place because of this ruling.


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