A victorious year for the gay marriage movement

Whether it was a pair of landmark Supreme Court rulings invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act and ending the possible return of California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage, or legalization of same sex marriage in states across the country, 2013 was a year to remember for gay rights.

Read more over at Nation Now.

Photos: Justin Lane / EPA, Susannah Kay, Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times, Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Love separated by 41 years and a U.S. visa

Ana Verdin-Hernandez and Gerardo Herrejon are an odd couple separated by immigration laws. As their romance began when she was 22 and he was 63, the couple has long drawn skepticism from within their families, though the two ultimately were married in 2010.

But Ana is an undocumented immigrant, while Gerardo is a U.S citizen, meaning that she, as his wife, could gain citizenship so long as an official at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico believed their marriage was legitimate. Otherwise, Ana would be barred from the country for years.

From reporter Richard Marosi’s story:

She was a brainy honors student bound for UC Berkeley. He was a chatty Glendale city bus driver who never missed Sunday Mass. He called her Chiquita — little one. She called him Pollo — chicken, for his skinny legs.

Her mother called him something else: El Viejito — the little old man.

Find out how things have worked out so far for the couple here.

Photos: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

One man runs marathons in marriage, combating illness and on his own two feet

The Los Angeles Marathon, set for Sunday, will have a participant running for two: John Creel, 77, will be taking part not just for himself, but for his wife Ingrid as well. After she was bound to a wheelchair by multiple sclerosis in 1995, John became her primary caretaker, and began running as a means of relief. Sunday’s marathon will be Creel’s 60th since then.

From columnist Bill Plaschke’s time with the Creels:

They still laugh about how they met in 1958 on a snowy night in a small town in Germany. She didn’t speak English, he barely spoke German, yet a year later they were married. At the time he was a member of the U.S. Army's Green Berets. Today he runs his marathons with the actual green beret atop his balding head. It reeks of sweat and has been tattered by moths, but, like his devotion, it is unmoving.

Photos: Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

So long, Prop. 8?With the Supreme Court set to rule on California’s controversial ban on same-sex marriage, President Obama asked the court yesterday to reject the voter-passed law.
From the the White House statement:

"Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law. Prejudice may not be the basis for differential treatment under the law."

The brief filed by the administration argues that same-sex marriage bans should be treated similarly to laws discriminating on the basis of gender. If the court agrees with the White House, same-sex marriage bans across the country would be immediately put in limbo.
Read more on the ongoing debate here.
Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

So long, Prop. 8?

With the Supreme Court set to rule on California’s controversial ban on same-sex marriage, President Obama asked the court yesterday to reject the voter-passed law.

From the the White House statement:

"Tradition, no matter how long established, cannot by itself justify a discriminatory law. Prejudice may not be the basis for differential treatment under the law."

The brief filed by the administration argues that same-sex marriage bans should be treated similarly to laws discriminating on the basis of gender. If the court agrees with the White House, same-sex marriage bans across the country would be immediately put in limbo.

Read more on the ongoing debate here.

Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Gay weddings are her niche:  Aside from finding the perfect dress and venue, wedding planner Bernadette Coveney Smith makes sure all vendors involved are gay-friendly. And she is likely to see more business with New York joining the market. 
Photo: Bernadette Coveney Smith. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Gay weddings are her niche: Aside from finding the perfect dress and venue, wedding planner Bernadette Coveney Smith makes sure all vendors involved are gay-friendly. And she is likely to see more business with New York joining the market.

Photo: Bernadette Coveney Smith. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times