The McKinney’s are a typical San Diego military family – they own a home, have a 13-year-old son who dreams of going into the NFL and they deal with the hardship and sacrifice of long deployments.
The only thing considered different about Elny Mckinney and her wife Anaselly’s military relationship is that are a gay couple. They were legally married in Washington, D.C. in March in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision.
“She’ll be able to be my primary next of kin,” McKinney said of Anaselly and the new legal status of gay marriage in California. “In case something happens to me, she’ll be the one who gets the proper notification and proper respect that is deserving of spouse.”
They have been domestic partners since 2011 and they were the first gay couple to hold their wedding ceremony on the naval base where Elny is an 18-year veteran.
“I would watch weddings going on and I wished I could do that, it’s such a beautiful venue,” Elny said.
After celebrating Wednesday, they still have many questions.
“It left open whether one state has to honor a same sex marriage from another state,” said a constitutional law professor with California Western School of Law.
The DOMA ruling addressed a thousand federal legal provisions, but not whether it would force states without same sex statutes to honor those with them.
“You don’t have any right, because we don’t recognize your marriage in this state,” said Anaselly talking about her fear. “There are a lot of worries and there are a lot of questions still.”
The good news, according to a legal expert, is that the ruling has already changed the national dialogue.