LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Timothy Love's heart problem made him acutely aware of the barriers still standing against his three-decade relationship with Larry Ysunza.
"You realize the state has stepped in between you and the person you love," he said, "and is keeping them from making a decision in case you're incapacitated."
When Love fell ill in June 2013, Ysunza didn't have medical power of attorney to make decisions. He was able to get the documents signed that day, but it wouldn't have been an issue if they were legally married.
Love said his heart is on the mend now but he still struggles with his health and takes 10 prescriptions a day, making it harder than before to overlook the couple's lack of legal status in Kentucky.
"You meet and you're 21 years old and all of sudden 35 years goes by and you're 55 years old, and you're having a heart issue," Love said. "Things sneak up on you."
Love, 55, and Ysunza, 56, were joined in a civil union in Vermont in 2000. They could marry in other states. But Love said their home is Kentucky, and that's where they want to be joined legally.
"I'm tired of this. We are not going anywhere, we are not doing anything till we get it here in Kentucky," he said. "This is our home."
He's hoping with a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court, he and Ysunza could marry this year at a church in Louisville. The ceremony would be in October, 35 years after they became a couple.