After 55 years together, same-sex Scottsdale couple joins fight for marriage equality

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by Marie Saavedra

azfamily.com

Posted on March 21, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 21 at 9:29 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- For heterosexual couples, marriage can be as simple as going downtown and filling out the right paperwork. Thursday, we spoke to a gay couple living in Scottsdale who just wants that same chance after 55 years together.

"We met in college in Texas. I was 18, Nelda was 19," said Karen Bailey. "Fifty-five years later, we're still here!"

Decades of love and dedication. It seems Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors could teach straight couple's a thing or two.

"They've even said today that the only ones who want to get married are the gays!" joked Bailey.

They know about working together, having run successful businesses, and about parenting, through raising Karen's nieces since they were toddlers. They also know how the times for gay couples have changed.

"Back then you just didn't talk about it, but now it seems like we do talk about it and the world's talking about it and the whole country's talking about it and really, it's a good feeling not having to hide," said Majors.

No longer hiding, these women want rights. So as the Supreme Court takes on the issue of gay marriage, the couple is planning to travel to Washington, DC to share their story next week.

And it's about more than just the legality of the relationship. It would make it easier for the women, now in their 70s, to make sure their girls are taken care of in the future, especially their youngest who is still in high school.

"If something were to happen to me, Nelda really has no legal rights to her, even though she's raised her all her life," said Bailey. 

It's a thought that keeps these women awake at night. They say they just want to protect their family, like anyone else, and they hope the Supreme Court will listen.

"It's been just like every other family in the world, we're no different. The only difference is we don't have the law on our side," said Majors.

The couple will share their story at a rally next Tuesday outside of the Supreme Court.

 

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