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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL – The extended Independence Day weekend was an explosion of fairs, fireworks, pool parties and back yard barbecues for many in our area. It also included the much anticipated marriage of one of our community’s most celebrated couples.

 

Jeanette Mott Oxford and Dorothy Maye Gannon were wed on Friday, July 4, 2014 at St. John’s United Church of Christ in Fairview Heights, Ill. The nuptials took place on the couple’s 30th anniversary. A reception with friends, relatives and supporters immediately followed at the church.

 

Oxford is a longtime social justice advocate and the first out lesbian elected to the Missouri House of Representatives serving from 2005-2013. Term limits barred her from seeking a fifth term representing the 59th District and in 2012; the Democrat launched an unsuccessful primary campaign for State Senate in the Missouri 5th. Oxford is currently the Executive Director of the Missouri Association for Social Welfare.

 

Gannon, a hospice chaplain, is a social justice advocate in her own right. The couple have been together since 1984 and lived in St. Louis since 1987.

 

“So thankful to the many who have worked for human liberation of every kind - and grateful just now for those who have worked and are working for LGBT equality,” Oxford shared on Facebook. “Dorothy and I will be legally married in IL on the 30th anniversary of our relationship, July 4. There was a time when we did not believe that would happen in our lifetimes.”

 

Same-sex marriages began in earnest in The Land of Lincoln on June 1, 2014 after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation affirming marriage equality into law last fall.

 

To date, more than 5,000 gay and lesbian couples have been married in Illinois.

 

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