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Marie and Louise Tyo
Marie and Louise Tyo

Same-sex marriage in New York an important stepping stone, says one Potsdam couple

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On Friday night, New York became the sixth state to legalize same-sex marriage. And Potsdam couple Louise and Marie Tyo were watching.

Marie and Louise have been together for fifteen years, and they have a daughter. They got married in Canada a few years ago, and during the Patterson administration New York began recognizing marriages from all states and countries.

So Louise and Marie are legally married in New York already, but as far as they're concerned the passage of gay marriage in their home state is a huge symbolic victory and a stop on the road to federal recognition of their marriage.

Nora Flaherty spoke with Louise and Marie Tyo.

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Nora Flaherty
Digital Editor, News

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"We were watching television with bated breath," Louise Tyo said of their Friday night, when the final senate deliberations occured. "We actually just posted on Facebook quickly, 'Hey, we are going to get married. Date and time TBA.'" 

Tyo said another ceremony in New York is too expensive, but that they will go to the local civil court to get an official document.

When Louise and Marie decided to marry, they chose not to hyphenate their last names. Louise's last name was Gallegly, a beautiful Irish name that was commonly mispronounced. She said she consulted her siblings, who attended the wedding in 1997 and were supportive. Louise Tyo said the choice to use Marie's last name "conforms to the way many straight couples do in our culture."

"I'm very excited that New York state has finally seen the light," Tyo said. "I'm really glad that Cuomo was so strongly behind it."

Tyo said she is still waiting for the federal government to see the light. Homosexual couples still have complications with social security and hospital visits because their marriages are not recognized.

"Everyone seems to think that because New York state has passed it that things are going to start evolving quicker and I hope they are right," she said.


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