Gay Couple To Marry In OK Despite Constitutional Ban - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Gay Couple To Marry In OK Despite Constitutional Ban

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Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear were ready to go on with the wedding. They already had their marriage license, issued by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes. Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear were ready to go on with the wedding. They already had their marriage license, issued by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

A gay couple in Oklahoma planned to marry Thursday night despite a Constitutional ban recognizing such unions that voters passed in 2004.

Jason Pickel and Darren Black Bear were ready to go on with the wedding. They already had their marriage license, issued by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.

Black Bear explained that as a member of the tribe, which follows federal law, he can legally marry his partner of nine years. That happened after a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, commonly known as DOMA, was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thursday morning, the two were busy writing their personal vows to each other. Pickel wrote, "I stand here today in front of our friends and our family to make these promises to you."

The pair met at a Christmas party almost a decade ago. For Black Bear, this day was something he had dreamed of but never thought would actually happen.

"With me being 45, I never really anticipated that I would see it. It was a nice surprise whenever he found out that we could be legally married, I mean federally," he said. "It means so much in the world to us that we finally get some recognition from the federal government and we get to have the same benefits as our straight counterparts."

Their marriage certificate makes the union legal in the eyes of the Federal Government but for this couple, the wedding is about more than just a piece of paper. It's a celebration of dedicating their lives to each other. The icing on the cake for Black Bear is that his father will officiate the marriage.

The couple hopes by sharing their story, people will see they are just like anyone else. They hope to change minds in Oklahoma so the state will eventually recognize their marriage.

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