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Gay Marriage Plaintiffs Wed In Public Ceremony

Whittney Evans

One of the couples who successfully challenged the state of Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage got married Sunday in a public ceremony at The Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City.

Derek Kitchen 26 and Moudi Sbeity 27 were one of three couples named as plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in March 2013 that became known as Kitchen V. Herbert. The couple, who operates a local Middle Eastern food company called Laziz become the face of marriage equality in conservative Utah when U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby ruled in the plaintiff’s favor the following December. Now, on a sunny Memorial Day weekend, more than a year after same-sex marriage became legal in Utah, the couple finally tied the knot.

Peggy Tomsic, the attorney in the Kitchen V. Herbert case stood alongside the couple as they exchanged vows.

“You guys did it,” she said. “You’re here. We are in a public square in Salt Lake City, Utah, two blocks from the temple celebrating their marriage!”

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. A final decision on the matter is expected in June.  

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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