Love was in the air during a flight from California to the the Islands of Tahiti over the weekend.
As part of their anniversary getaway, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier renewed their vows above the clouds almost a decade after the pair became the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the state of California once Proposition 8 was overturned.
Informally known as Prop 8, this constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 California state elections, banning ban same-sex marriage in the state — again.
The couple was originally denied a marriage license in May 2009 by Alameda County Clerk-Registrar, Patrick O’Connell. Another same-sex couple, Paul Katami and Jeffrey Zarrillo, were also denied a marriage license by Los Angeles County Clerk Dean Logan that same year.
The couples spearheaded a legal suit — Hollingsworth v. Perry — against the county clerks and state officials, including then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and then-Attorney General Jerry Brown.
After a long legal battle, a district judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs on Aug. 4, 2010. The ruling overturned Proposition 8 based on the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The defendants filed a notice of appeal in the Ninth Circuit court, prompting “a stay of execution.” Later on Feb. 7, 2012, a three-judge panel ruled 2–1 in favor of the plaintiffs, declaring Proposition 8 unconstitutional.
But it wasn’t over yet — proponents of Prop 8 appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court on July 31, 2012. Ultimately, the court declined to revisit the Ninth Circuit’s decision in a 5-4 vote.
On June 28, 2013, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris officiated Kris Perry and Sandy Stier’s historic wedding ceremony, which was the same day the Supreme Court dissolved its “stay” of the district court’s order. This made them the first couple to wed after Prop 8 was officially overturned.
Now a decade later, the couple renewed their vows during an in-flight ceremony hosted by Air Tahiti Nui. Openly gay chief purser Rodrigue Chan presided over the occasion.
To honor the couples’ contributions to a more equitable future for all, Air Tahiti Nui says it’s offering a package where couples can “book a legendary vow renewal anniversary trip to French Polynesian paradise.”
Same-sex marriage was finally legalized nationwide in 2015.