BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — (March 22, 2014) FOX17 first introduced you to a battle creek couple at the beginning of the federal trial last month.
When the judge struck down the ban on gay marriage in Michigan on Friday, plans were quickly coming together travel plans were being booked for a wedding early next week. Now, all that has changed.
Lynnette Rich and Toby Haughey of Battle Creek have been together for over 25 years. Friday evening, they got the call they’ve been waiting for decades.
“Then all of a sudden it hit me. I got excited. I started calling my family in Georgia and Oregon, and calling everybody up saying we are getting married,” said Haughey.
Both have been raising several children together and getting married was the next step to become the family they always wanted to be.
“My sister is going to fly in from Georgia and he was going to be here Wednesday anyway, but she was going to fly in early, so ill have to call her and say don’t worry about it,” said Haughey.
The couple had to wait until Monday the next time the Calhoun County Clerk’s Office would be open, unlike the four other county offices across the state which decided to open Saturday.
“For me that was, I’m suspicious. I tend to be a little bit more pessimistic. I don’t trust that minorities or the LGBT community is going to be taken care of in a kind manor,” said Haughey.
Both Rich and Haughey stress their reasons for getting married aren’t just for celebration, but also to receive certain health and tax benefits. For example, the couple says if one of them passed away, they would loose their home because the other wouldn’t be eligible for any social security benefits from the deceased.