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Couple Who Challenged Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Arizona, Can Finally Marry After 56 Years Together

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Karen Bailey and Nelda Majors were together for more than 50 years before they told friends and family about their relationship.

They kept their relationship a secret to avoid the hostility that they saw lesbians and gay men endure throughout much of their lifetime.

Six years after they revealed their relationship, the partners witnessed something that they never thought was possible when they met in the 1950s: gay marriage is now legal.


“We would have never, ever thought we would have had this opportunity.”

Karen Bailey


On Friday, same-sex marriage became legal in Arizona, and Baily and Majors were lead plaintiffs in Majors v. Horne, Lambda Legal’s challenge to Arizona’s seven same-sex marriage ban.

Same-sex couples including Bailey and Majors are now lining up to marry at the courthouse in downtown Phoenix.

Despite all the joy they felt Friday, Bailey said it was still hard to express her feelings about such a sweeping social turn-around that she witnessed in her lifetime. People can now see the couple and the two relatives they became parents to as a family, she said.


“It has been an amazing trip”

Karen Bailey


The couple of 56 years is going to see a wedding planner on Monday.

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