Life-changing moments can come at the oddest times.
Lexington attorney Marc Roland was standing in line at the Fayette County Clerk's office around noon Friday, renewing his car tags, when his long-time partner Scott Shive texted him: Do you want to get married?
Sure, come on down, he texted back. By 12:45 p.m. — less than three hours after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized marriage for same-sex couples everywhere and less than an hour after Gov. Steve Beshear ordered county clerks to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples — they were outside clerk Don Blevins' office.
Across town, K.T. White and Natalia Truszczynski were each at work when they heard the news. White and Truszczynski had held a wedding ceremony two weeks ago, when they exchanged rose gold rings, so they rushed to the clerk's office and waited for Natalia's parents, Helena and Miroslaw, to arrive.
Shive and Roland said they were surprised to be first in line.
"I figured there would be a line almost as long as the one I was in to get my car registration renewed," Roland said.
Despite initial technical hiccups, both couples were issued licenses and on Friday, just hours after the historic ruling, became the first same-sex couples legally married in Lexington.
"For me, personally, it's a big day," Blevins said. "Our LBGT friends have been waiting for this for a long time. I'm happy for those folks that we finally have a fair and equitable way of handling marriage."
At least four other counties in Kentucky — Jefferson, Kenton, Mead and Hancock — also issued marriage licenses on Friday, according to Blevins.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Boone County Clerk Kenny Brown had declined to issue any licenses because of implementation issues. Earlier this month, he told the paper that he was opposed to same-sex marriage. Brown did not return phone calls to the Herald-Leader.
In Beshear's letter to all county clerks, he said: "Neither your oath nor the Supreme Court dictate what you must believe. But as elected officials, they do prescribe how we must act."
Once the clerks had received the order from Beshear and an updated marriage license form from the state, it was simply a matter of waiting for a couple.
Blevins said the state allowed him to offer the Fayette County couples an option: use the new form, with the headings "First Party" and "Second Party" instead of "Bride" and "Groom" but have everything written in by hand. Or use the old computerized form, and cross out the old headings.
Both couples opted to go with the computerized version. As Roland and Shive were filling out their form, another couple arrived. Then another. And another.
Shive and Roland, who have been together for 16 years and have a daughter, Piper, were married at 2 p.m. by Fayette Circuit Judge Ernesto Scorsone, who also is gay.
A few minutes later, Fayette Circuit Judge Kathy Stein married Truszczynski and White (who plans to change her name to Truszczynski, too.)
Shive said they had talked before about getting married but wanted it to be legally binding in Kentucky because of their daughter. Now Shive can apply to become her legal parent, a step he couldn't take before.
"I'm thrilled. That's the main reason we're doing this," Shive said.
"He's as much her father as I am," Roland said, tearing up a bit.
They plan to have a ceremony with friends and family another time.
For White and Truszczynski, the $35.50 piece of legal paper embossed with a gold seal was priceless.
The most special part of their day?
"Hearing 'under the law,'" White said.