Evansville officer happy Indiana recognizes her marriage - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville officer happy Indiana recognizes her marriage

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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

After a federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on gay marriage, many local same-sex couples did not waste any time to capitalize on the ruling.

Seven same-sex couples made their way to the Vanderburgh County Clerk's Office Wednesday.

One of those couples, the first female couple to receive a marriage license in Vanderburgh County, said they have been waiting almost 27 years for this day.

Beth Heil said she cried tears of joy when she heard the news that the couple says simply adds to their relationship and their family.

"They're great parents," said the couple's daughter. "Even if it wasn't legally recognizable, I still recognized them as my moms. They raised me just right and I love this."

The family says they will be celebrating with a small ceremony sometime very soon.

Wednesday's ruling was also good news for same-sex couples legally married in other states, but live in Indiana.

Evansville Police Officer Karen Kajmowicz has been fighting for the same benefits granted to other married couples.

Karen and her wife, Tammy, got married in Iowa in 2013, but for the past 9 months they haven't been receiving the same benefits as couples in traditional marriages.

Karen has been an active part of the lawsuit filed against the ban on same-sex marriage, even speaking to state judiciary committees in Indianapolis in January.

She says it was important that her employer, the Evansville Police Department, extended benefits like health insurance and her pension to her wife.

Karen says when she heard that her marriage would now be recognized, she called her family to share the great news.

"I called my son, he's 6, and he kind of knows what's going on in a 6 year old's eyes," said Karen. "I told him that the law had been changed, he was jumping up and down for joy, I did it on FaceTime. It's just a great feeling, he even understands how important this was to our family."

Karens says she can lay her head on her pillow and know that if anything were to happen to her, Tammy and her children will be taken care of.

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