After nearly 57 years together, same-sex couple celebrate their marriage

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- They were front and center in the fight to legalize gay marriage in Arizona and Sunday they were center stage once again for their wedding nearly 57 years in the making.

"They feel that 56 and a half years together is a long engagement, but today they now have 1,134 federal laws on their side to protect their relationship," the officiant said.

Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors were one of the first same-sex couples to get legally married last month and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Phoenix, they held the wedding ceremony they fought so hard for when they filed suit against the state to legalize gay marriage.

Hundreds showed up to wish the couple well.

"Oh it's much more than what we envisioned," Bailey said. "I don't think we could have ever imagined the people that have helped us, the vendors that have helped us. Our wedding assistant was unbelievable and we could have never imagined that it would be as wonderful as it's been."

The couple met while attending Sam Houston University in Huntsville, Texas, and they have been together ever since. After making a life together and running a successful business in Texas, the couple moved to Arizona where they raised two daughters.

Bailey and Majors were one of the couples to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court arguing that Arizona's ban on marriage for same-sex couples violated the Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They represented Arizona on March 26, 2013, on the steps of the Supreme Court during the sessions on marriage equality.

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