SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Becky Bickett and Andrea Sanders have been waiting a decade to get married. Now that they have two baby boys, they are more anxious than ever to become a legal family.
"Family is everything to us," Bickett said. "When we got together ten years ago, we wanted a big family and we wanted our family to be a unit as a legal unit. It is a very important thing for a family for all of us to have the same last name."
That is why the couple filed a lawsuit fighting for equal marriage rights in Mississippi. Late last month, a judge ruled in their favor, but issued a two week hold on same sex marriage. Now the court has issued a stay on that hold until a decision is made by the appeals court.
"With the stay, I did cry," Bickett said. "It was disheartening to know that although it's been deemed unconstitutional, we still can't get married. We still have to wait. But, you know, we are hoping our wait will be short."
Bickett and her family are not alone. Jeff White with The Gulf Coast Rainbow Center said he knows of at least nine other South Mississippi couples waiting for the okay to get a marriage license.
"Since the day we went to the hearing itself in Jackson, the level of anxiety through the state has just been through the roof," White said. "Everybody is waiting and waiting. We are all very exited. We never thought we would get to this point this soon."
Although White has no plans of getting married right now, he gets emotional thinking about the day it is legal.
"I should be able to be treated fairly at home," White said with tears in his eyes. "I shouldn't have to leave home to enjoy the same rights."
White and Bickett also strongly believe this fight for marriage equality today is also for the future generations.
"I grew up in this state and didn't even know there were other gay people; I just thought it was me," White said. "The things we are doing now is to show the kids coming up that it is okay."
"When they grow up they should not see colors or not see gay or straight, just see people," Bickett said.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear Bickett and Sanders' case on January 9th in New Orleans. That day the court will also hear similar cases from Louisiana and Texas.