For Cathy Pareto, the excitement of finally marrying her longtime partner, Karla Arguello, has largely passed. And that’s what she wants: a sense of normalcy. To have a marriage that is equal in the eyes of society. No better. No worse.
Pareto and Arguello were the first LGBT couple to tie the knot in Florida in January of 2015, thanks to an already scheduled court appearance before a judge the day same-sex marriage became legal in Miami-Dade.
“It was kind of a circus that day. What led to our getting married first is our hearing scheduled asking the judge to lift the case [Pareto v. Ruvin]. We were a ball of nerves in court that day,” Pareto said. “It was mind-numbing, exhilarating. So many emotions.”
And after 16 years together, Pareto said their relationship has felt like a marriage for a while. They are also in business together, Cathy Pareto and Associates in Coral Gables, and have a family, including the recent arrival of twins.
“We had been together for so long and lived our lives so much like a married couple. But we still weren’t legal in the eyes of the law. You just feel safer as a family. You feel more unified. That underlying threat, that’s gone now.”