Local couple rejoices in Supreme Court gay rights decision



Posted on June 26, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 26 at 1:44 PM

NORFOLK -- Robert Roman and Claus Ihleman cried when they heard the Supreme Court decision this morning. They were married when it was still legal in California in September 2008. 

They say that today's ruling validates thousands of couples and gives them a roadmap to their future.

Claus Ihleman realized he was gay in his late 20s after marrying a woman and giving birth to a son. He says somehow the pieces did not fit and when he had his first homosexual relationship he felt like his life had come together.

Robert Roman knew he was gay at the age of seven. When he told his mother that he really like the boy in his class he says his mom smacked him and said never say that again. 

He kept his homosexuality a secret for many many years. He calls Claus his saving grace.

Together they have a very supportive family. Claus's son Joshua is married with two little girls that consider this couple their grandparents.

Together, they are well off enough to be able to support having health insurance and other things that gay couples have not had the privilege of having until now.

Attorney Kevin Duffan tells us that exactly what legal privileges will be extended to already married couples is yet to be seen especially in the Commonwealth of Virginia – a state that does not allow gay marriage.

Claus and Robert say they look forward to filing federal tax returns together and not having to sign paperwork that allows the other to visit in the hospital.

There are many details that have yet to be released as to how their future will change but they are celebrating in the present moment - a moment that Robert never thought he would see.