MADISON (WKOW) — Five years ago Thursday, Renee Currie and Shari Roll became the first same-sex couple to marry in Dane County — something they say they did out of urgency and uncertainty.
“The way politics go, you feel there’s going to be such a short window of opportunity,” said Shari Roll-Currie.
That window ended up staying open, and now five years later, a symbol of LGBTQ pride waves over the State Capitol.
“I think that the flag is huge for many reasons,” said Renee Roll-Currie. “I just hope that people don’t become too complacent — that they realize that there are still more things that need to happen.”
Renee and Shari say they’ve been lucky in Madison.
“Being able to go to the Farmer’s Market and hold hands and not get the looks,” Renee said.
But even today, they say that luck only goes so far.
“Our marriage license has some invisible ink on it,” Shari said. “We don’t have that opportunity to do foster care the same way a heterosexual couple does. We don’t have the same rights to adopt kids the same way a heterosexual couple does. And the list could go on.”
In addition to legal hurdles, Renee and Shari say they still face social hurdles outside of Madison.
“As we travel the state, we would get some different looks, some different reactions,” Renee said. “So that’s how we know there’s still some work to be done.”
But as a rainbow flag now flies over the Capitol in a city run by the first openly gay mayor, Renee and Shari see home and an inspiration for youth.
“To me, I hope it gives them more confidence,” Shari said. “More confidence to allow themselves to be actually who they are and who they know they are.”