The Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, under Judge Alan Lemons, issued its first same-sex marriage license on July 1. A wedding ceremony was held on July 6, making the marriage the first same-sex couple to be officially married in Scioto County. The happy brides of the wedding included locals Johanna Pack and Nina Neal.
The two claimed married life is going well for the Pack family, for the brides and their three children.
Both women said they were shocked when the Supreme Court of the United States made its decision to pass the groundbreaking law that decreed same-sex marriages would be received and accepted nationwide as of June 26.
“We had talked about marriage for some time and we were speechless when they passed the law. We knew we had to go for it as soon as we could get everything together,” Johanna Pack said. “We are glad that the supreme court gave the gay community the same opportunity as everyone else. We also think it is pretty neat that we are the first gay couple in Scioto County to get married.”
The women were already living together prior to their marriage and claimed not much has changed for them, other than they can now proudly boast of their spouse.
Nina Pack brought three children into the family from a previous relationship. Johanna said that their children don’t see anything differently since they’ve married and that she has been helping her wife raise the children for years.
“I’ve pretty much helped raised them [the children], they don’t have a father in their life and I’m that figure,” Johanna Pack said. “It feels great, like I’m on top of the world.”
The Packs have been together for four years, after being longtime family friends. The two said they had been engaged for some time prior to the passing of the law and that they even had a formal commitment ceremony one year prior, on June 27, 2014.
“We already had half of our decoration and wedding stuff because of our commitment ceremony one year prior,” Nina Pack said. “When they passed the law, and marriage became legal for us, we already had everything we needed to do it the right way, so we just went for it.”
When the two women decided to tie the knot and jump the broom as quickly as possible, they said they were greeted by a kind and welcoming judge and staff.
“We didn’t have any problem receiving our license at all. Everyone was polite and we were treated with kindness. Judge Lemons even came in to shake our hands and to meet with us. We weren’t looked down on at all and were given a lot of respect,” Nina Pack said. “The courthouse made us feel special.”
Johanna Pack said that the two had no problem finding a minister to officiate the ceremony, even though there was concern. She said that the minister welcomed the women onto his own property and he performed the ceremony on his own front lawn in Buena Vista.
The brides said they are enjoying their marriage and look forward to spending many years together.
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.
Johanna and Nina Pack getting married on July 6