All photos by Rick Rocamora
MANILA, Philippines – "No union is more profound than marriage," the United States Supreme Court wrote in an opinion on the decision to legalize same-sex marriage in the United States on June 26, 2015. And with the bang of the gavel, the country's highest court put to rest any doubts on the legality of same-sex marriage.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the Supreme Court's opinion on same-sex marriage: "Marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage."
While unimaginable for many, the landmark decision was not surprising. Over the course of the past several years, 37 US states and Washington DC, already began recognizing the rights of same-sex couples to marry, allowing the issuance marriage certificates and striking gender from the definition of marriage.
In 2014, the state of California – the home of at least 1.5 million Filipinos – did the same. Rinabeth Apostol and Marie Bernardo exchanged vows on December 13, 2014 in Oakland, California. And with with the latest ruling handed down by the US Supreme Court, their love is now legal nationwide.
The couple marries in Oakland, California, in December 2014
The wedding and reception is a small gathering
A selfie to immortalize the special day
The vows are sealed with a kiss