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Paths + Profiles: Do You Remember Obergefell v Hodges?

In this episode of Paths + Profiles, several of our LGBTQ+ employees share their memories of where they were and what they did the day that the historic Supreme Court Case ruling in Obergefell versus Hodges occurred, making same-sex marriage legal across the United States.


Morgan Ribeiro
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Ron Snitker
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  • Transcript

    pride pod

    Welcome to paths and profiles, conversations, and stories capturing the personal journeys of our attorneys, colleagues, and friends.

    Morgan: This is Morgan Ribeiro, Waller's Chief Business Development Officer, and the host of the podcast. June is Pride month, and in honor of that, we have been interviewing several of our LGBTQ+ employees about their experiences as LGBTQ+ professionals while interviewing paralegal Jeana Clark, she shared the story of how her and her now wife were listening to the breaking news coverage of Obergefell versus Hodges, the Supreme court case that legalized same sex marriage across the United States, and were married 19 days later after spending 13 years together as partners. This story inspired us to ask our other interviewees about their thoughts and feelings on that historic day.

    In this episode of Paths + Profiles, you will hear stories from Chief Diversity Officer Ron Snitker, Healthcare Business Development Manager Jarrod Stamper, and Digital Communications Coordinator, Jude Blystone. Thank you for listening to Paths + Profiles and happy pride month.

    Ron: My name is Ron Snitker, and I am the newly named and first Chief Diversity Officer at Waller.

    I vividly remember where I was when the Obergefell ruling came out. My best friend from college was visiting Nashville and we heard the news and after a long hug and some champagne and a little bit of dancing, we came down to the state capital here in Tennessee and were part of the rally of individuals that were celebrating the decision, And there were pride flags and Tennessee state flags and parents with their kids and same sex couples who either were married or wanted to get married and weren't able to previously.

    A very close friend was married by the mayor of Nashville, former mayor of Nashville on that weekend. It was a pride weekend here in Nashville. So for me it was very monumental and memorable and one, I will never forget.

    Jude: I am Jude Blystone. I'm the Digital Communications Coordinator at Waller.

    yes, I do remember where I was. It was after I had graduated my senior year of high school in the middle of the summer.

    I'm pretty sure I didn't wake up until like 2:00 PM that day I woke up. Super late. And I just remember having so many text messages from friends and stuff, and I think it was a Photoshop photo, but you remember the photo of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, like running through the white house with the pride flags? I don't know if that was real or fake, but that became like my wallpaper on everything.

    And actually, it happened before I was out. I knew I was gay, but I was not out yet at the time. And I just remember hearing it, that was the first time that I thought, " wow, I could marry a woman if I wanted to. I could grow up and I could live that way."

    Cuz I had just resigned myself. I was raised Catholic in a Catholic home. I was like, "I'm gonna grow up. I'm gonna marry some boy and we're gonna have a family. And that's what I'm gonna do because that's what you're supposed to do. That's what I can do." Like marrying a woman or spending my life with a woman, wasn't even an option before that.

    And so I just remember being really excited, at least like internally, knowing that, A) the world was progressing, society was progressing and becoming more accepting and B) that people like you and me would have the same rights as literally everyone else i n the country. So it was a big deal.

    Jarrod: I'm Jarrod Stamper. I'm the Healthcare Business Development Manager at Waller.

    So, we have pretty similar stories because I remember that day very well. When the news broke, I remember just having to press pause for a moment. It was shocking to me for the simple fact that I grew up in a very conservative area and I'd attended several weddings in my life, but I always had this piece of me that always thought, "Well, technically you can't have that."

    And so when that did happen, it was the realization, that the dream that I had of one day being part of a formal marriage could exist.

     I do remember distinctly that day, that was the first time that I ever decided to speak in any context about my sexual orientation, in a not so subtle way, I suppose, because I had shared the story, the news story on Facebook and I curated it with the caption of "I stand with love" and added rainbow heart emojis. And so while I was not out at the time either, and it would still be several years before I would, make that public knowledge. But I remember that I thought that it was such a momentous day that I had to be a part of it. For myself, more than anything else to just take the first step, even if that was multicolor emojis and a simple statement.

    Thank you for listening to this episode of paths and profiles. For more information, visit



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