The next wave of American marriage equality will begin in Louisiana.
This month, the state will join the ranks of states such as Virginia and Texas in legalizing same-sex marriages, as well as granting civil unions.
The state is one of five that have already done so.
In addition to Louisiana, it is also the only state that has granted marriage licenses to same-gender couples.
In the state, you can apply for a marriage license, which is required if you are seeking to marry, or to register your marriage.
However, the process takes just 30 minutes and the ceremony takes place in the presence of a court-appointed lawyer.
Linda Williams, the clerk of court in Baton Rouge, said that the process is simple.
“You can get your name on the form, and then you get the form and then your wedding will take place,” Williams said.
The ceremony itself is done in the courtroom, but Williams said that people are also encouraged to take the same time to make sure they’re ready to go out in public.
“That’s the big thing: It’s a public event,” she said.
Williams is one who believes that allowing gay couples to marry is not as far along as the national conversation is making it seem.
“This is not something that’s happening in a vacuum,” she added.
“The law of the land is that we cannot do this,” she continued.
“This is something that needs to happen.”
The new state law goes into effect in July.
Williams said it is a step toward full equality for the state’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens, but she said that it is not a complete answer.
She said that she wants to see a comprehensive law, and she wants the process to be a lot more accessible.
“If it were a little more difficult, maybe we could have done it quicker, but it’s a process that is going to take a long time,” she explained.
“And it’s going to be hard to change.”
Williams said that while her office is not the first to take on same-gendered marriage, it will be the first time that a lesbian, gay or bisexual couple can apply.
Williams has served on the board of the Louisiana Association of Marriage Educators since 2003, and the office handles a lot of legal work for people who are seeking marriage licenses.
As for her own life, Williams said she has not considered marriage.
She lives in a trailer home and does not have a place of residence.
Williams said she hopes that the new law will be a catalyst for people to reconsider.
“We have to be willing to look at this as a human rights issue,” she noted.
“We have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and I think that’s something that is missing from this country.”