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Two Davids Become One: Moore and Ermold marry at the Bell Tower

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Two months ago, an infuriated David Moore pounded his fist on a counter in the Rowan County Clerk's office as he pleaded for the right to wed his partner David Ermold.

Now “the Davids” are legally bound.

On Saturday, Moore and Ermold’s journey to marriage culminated at their alma mater. They returned to the Bell Tower, where they'd already officially tied the knot on Sept. 26 in private matrimony. This time, they invited everyone.

“Everything about it has been public, it kind of had to end that way,” said Ermold.

An overture of soft folk music welcomed the couple as they waltzed down the library steps toward the Bell Tower. Friends and family cried, smiled and snapped photographs to preserve the memory.

“These are people who deserve to have their love seen like everyone else,” said Taral Thompson, a Morehead State graduate.

Moore and Ermold planned to wed last summer when the U.S. Supreme Court decided same-sex couples deserved the right. But Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis refused to comply with the federal order. In a viral video posted by Moore, more than 1 million people watched Davis tell the couple “no.”

On Saturday, Moore and Ermold told one another “yes.”

MSU graduate Geraldine Lewis of Elliott County officiated the ceremony, her 7-year-old daughter standing by her side as flower girl. After posing questions to the couple, she announced to the crowd that “the bond is made.”

Raindrops sprinkled down from an overcast sky after the couple exchanged rings and kissed.

“This is our blessing from God,” said Ermold.

Friends and family lined up to embrace the couple at the ceremony’s conclusion. Linda Carpenter, a 64-year-old MSU graduate, owned the house Moore and Ermold started renting 12 years ago. Carpenter said “they’re good kids.”

“They would always come and check on me and help me. I watched them on television going through all that, and all I kept thinking was, why do these people hate them? They didn’t do anything wrong,” she said.

Moore and Ermold didn’t fight for their right to marry alone. Plaintiffs in the case against Davis  Dr. April Miller, Karen Roberts and Jody Fernandez  watched their friends marry, as did several other members of the Rowan County Rights Coalition.

"I think it’s good closure for them and for us," said Moore, as he stood underneath MSU's Bell Tower where the words "love" and "justice" are etched into the bricks.

"If same-sex marriage is still an issue five years from now, I want people to be able to be open about who they are and not be afraid of who they are," said Ermold. "This is the only life we get."