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Loran Marsan, a profesor of womens studies at OU, and Jolena Hansbarger seal their marridge at the Athens County Court House on November 9th, 2016 to protest Trump being elected MATT STARKEY|FOR THE POST

Professor marries wife on Athens courthouse steps in protest of Trump winning election

Correction appended

When Republican Donald Trump was elected president Tuesday, Loran Marsan and Jolena Hansbarger decided they wanted to be pronounced wife and wife on the steps of the Athens County Courthouse, 1 S. Court. St., the following afternoon.

The couple said they feared the option to marry might not be available to them under a Trump presidency.

“I texted (Hansbarger) last night and said, ‘Do you want to get married if Trump wins?’ ” Marsan, a professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies at Ohio University, said.

Come January, Trump and the Republican-dominated Congress will have the opportunity to appoint a conservative U.S. Supreme Court justice who could tip the balance of the court and reverse the 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.

“And I was like, ‘Sure,’ ” Hansbarger, an artist and graduate student studying business, said. The two women married fewer than 24 hours later.

Students, friends and family stood outside of the courthouse to watch Marsan and Hansbarger, who met at an Appalachian Hell Betties roller derby event three years prior, get married. The couple’s dog, Marley, also attended.

delfin bautista, the director of OU’s LGBT Center, spoke to Marsan on Tuesday night regarding the proposal and received a message inviting them to the impromptu ceremony Wednesday morning.

bautista uses they/them pronouns and all lowercase letters in their name.

“(The wedding) is an opportunity at a moment when there is a lot of fear and anxiety,” bautista said. “Let’s celebrate and come together as a community and show them (the LGBT community is) not going to be defeated.”

For some student guests, including Aspen Wilson, a junior studying field ecology, the Court Street ceremony was their first time attending a gay couple’s wedding.

“I feel like everyone needed something good today,” Wilson, who uses they/them pronouns, said. “I really appreciate them doing this.”

Eric Keep, a senior studying computer science, said he “switched from sad crying to happy crying” after hearing about the wedding and its symbolism.

Bouquets in hand, the couple exchanged vows that were inaudible to the audience gathered around the steps. Teresia Tracie, who met the couple through roller derby, made a short introduction and pronounced Marsan and Hansbarger wife and wife. Wedding guests threw autumn leaves and red glitter into the air as the two women kissed.

“This is what we can do to be happy today,” Marsan said. “If (the right to same-sex marriage) is going to be taken away, I want to make it harder for people to take it away.”

Hansbarger added she wants “all the rights attached with marriage.”

After the ceremony’s conclusion, Hansbarger held her new wife’s hand as she shouted “to Jackie O’s!” over the cheering crowd before her. As the party disbanded, some guests walked back to class or work, rainbow flags still waving.

A previous version of this article incorrectly quoted Loran Marsan. The story has been updated to show the most accurate information.

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