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A family moment

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE RULING

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Gree, left, and Anni Jordan-Amberg, with their children Noah, Izzie and Frankie, from left, say the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couples.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Gree, left, and Anni Jordan-Amberg, with their children Noah, Izzie and Frankie, from left, say the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couples.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

    Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.
    (Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Gree, left, and Anni Jordan-Amberg, with their children Noah, Izzie and Frankie, from left, say the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couples.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)
  • Annie and Gree Jordan-Amberg, with their three children, said the Supreme Court's ruling regarding the defense of marriage act is an encouraging sign for gay couplest.<br/>(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

For Anni and Gree Jordan-Amberg, last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a key portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act was a milestone well-worth celebrating.

“It’s very encouraging. I don’t think people know how difficult it is for gay people,” Gree said Monday as the two women sat at the kitchen table in their Hancock home, Gree holding their 2-month-old son, Noah, while 7-year-old Izzie and Frankie, 21∕2, played upstairs.

“Our children won’t be made to feel our family is not recognized or is inferior,” Anni said. “We were just in Washington a little while ago. We saw the Supreme Court building. Now we’re able to tell our daughter that the highest court in the our country has declared that our family has equal protection.”

Anni said the ruling should make life much simpler.

She said the couple has had to jump through hoops as gay parents in order to feel comfortable doing things as simple as travelling to another state.

“It’s so complicated,” she said. “You decide to have a child together, but then you have to adopt your own child.”

“It gets expensive, and it seems so silly,” said Gree. “It’s been nerve-wracking to travel. We purposely don’t travel to some places.”

The court’s ruling that gay couples married in states where gay marriage is legal must receive the same federal health-care, tax and Social Security benefits that married heterosexuals receive focuses largely on economic issues, but for the Jordan-Ambergs, it also represents a change in attitude that they find refreshing.

“Every time I heard it called the Defense of Marriage Act, I got all riled up,” Gree said. “We’re all in favor of marriage. Marriage is awesome.”

For Sarah Bauhan of Hancock, the ruling is important as a symbol of a change in attitudes.

Bauhan and her partner, Jane Eklund, became a legal couple in a civil union ceremony in 2009, shortly before New Hampshire legalized same-sex marriage. Their civil union became a marriage the following year.

“We were jumping for joy when we heard,” Bauhan said on Monday. “I’m really glad the court did the right thing. It means we’re being recognized.”

While the practical results of the ruling, such as providing survivor benefits to married gay couples, will be significant, Bauhan said the court decision should have an immediate financial impact.

Bauhan, who owns a small book publishing business in Peterborough, said the ruling will save the couple a significant amount of money.

“Jane has the health insurance for both of us,” she said. “Right now, her employer pays for my insurance and treats it as income for her. It’s up to an additional $7,000 that gets taxed.”

The Jordan-Ambergs are also expecting to benefit financially.

“We have to pretend we’re not married,” Anni said. “It felt so strange last year filing our taxes. We had to say we were single. It gets so complicated.”

“Now we can file an amended tax return,” said Gree. “That’s great, but on a bigger level it’s indicative of a shift. You can feel the federal government is actually working for civil rights. That’s a big change. It hasn’t always felt that way.”

Gree, 35, is a nurse in the urgent care department at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester. Anni, 35, is a former teacher and a writer, who has been handling a lot of the child care duties since Frankie was born and is now quite busy taking care of Noah. The couple got married in New Hampshire in 2012.

Anni said their daughter Izzie is old enough to appreciate the significance of the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“She was very excited,” Anni said. “She can feel that it’s a big deal that the government cares about us.”

“I feel great relief that gay marriage is recognized under federal law,” Gree said.

“It’s time for it to be legal. It really is a civil rights issue.”

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