Gay Activist: Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Was ‘God’s Intention and God’s Work’

By Melanie Arter | June 26, 2015 | 11:30 AM EDT

Michael De Leon, left, and Gregory Bourke speak in Louisville, Ky in 2013. (AP Photo)

( – A same-sex marriage activist, whose marriage 11 years ago in Canada was validated Friday by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that all states must recognize gay marriage performed in other states, thanked God Friday, calling the ruling, “God’s intention and God’s work.”

“What I’d like to start by saying is what I think everyone should say when something very good happens in their life: We need to pause and give thanks to God,” said Greg Bourke, who spoke on the steps of the Supreme Court accompanied by his husband Michael De Leon and their two adopted children, Isabella and Isaiah.

“As lifelong practicing Catholics, that’s how we feel, we feel like this is God’s intention and God’s work, and so we embrace it and we thank God for it. Michael and I have been together for 33 years. We’ve been legally married for 11 years, but not until today did the state of Kentucky recognize our union. So this is a watershed day for our family. It is the same for all Kentuckians and for all Americans,” Bourke said.


The couple filed a lawsuit in 2013 challenging the constitutionality of Kentucky’s marriage laws that do not recognize same-sex unions, the USA Today reported on July 26, 2013. As reported, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday that same-sex marriage is a right in Obergefell v. Hodges.

“We’re so grateful today that we're here to be able to celebrate this,” said Bourke. “This means that our children will now be able to have … two legal parents after 16 and a half years of being raised by the both of us.

“Now we will finally be able to request from the commonwealth of Kentucky second parent adoptions, and we will be a legal family in the state of Kentucky. That means the world to us, and it’s very important for Kentucky and for the country,” he said.

“One last thing I’d like to say: There’s a song that we sing in our church. It starts out ‘the strife is o’er, the battle done,’ and that’s the way we feel today. We have overcome today. We are equal. We have earned equal rights to marriage and the freedom to marry for all Kentuckians, for all Americans,” Bourke concluded.

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