© 2020 St. Louis Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Concerned About Barrett Nomination, St. Louis LGBTQ Couples Get Hitched

101620_EW_AmyandNikki.jpg
Courtesy of Nikki Krutzsch and Amy Raster
Mehlville residents Nikki Krutzsch and Amy Raster pose after their wedding outside St. Louis City Hall as part of a mass wedding pop-up event organized by area LGBTQ organizations. Oct. 13, 2020

Mehlville residents Nikki Krutzsch and Amy Raster met in 2000. They were longtime friends and coworkers. They began dating in 2009, but didn’t feel any rush to tie the knot until Krutzsch’s father became ill.

“We had been okay with just being committed to each other, but a couple years ago, we watched my dad go through some very bad health, and he eventually passed away. After that point we both felt like, no matter what happened, we wanted to protect each other,” said Krutzch on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“I wholeheartedly trust Amy, and I didn’t want to be in a position where, god forbid, I get sick and I can’t make that choice or that decision — I wanted to know that she could make that decision for me and it wasn’t left to someone else.”

After his passing in 2018, they talked about making their relationship official in the eyes of the law. But it wasn’t until Raster saw a posting on a St. Louis Facebook page about an LGBTQ wedding pop-up that they decided to get hitched.

“I kind of just yelled across the house, ‘Hey, do you want to get married on Tuesday?’ Raster recalled, laughing. “It was my turn, she asked the first time.”

101620_PB_ToriJameson.jpg
Patrick Brehm
Pastor Tori Jameson of Lot’s Wife Trans & Queer Chaplaincy organized this week's mass wedding pop-up outside St. Louis City Hall.

Krutzsch and Raster got married on Oct. 13, 2020 on the steps of St. Louis City Hall.

“It didn’t change anything; I think it just renewed our sense of relationship and love and just being together,” said Raster.

The wedding pop-up was organized by Pastor Tori Jameson of Lot’s Wife Trans & Queer Chaplaincy, a local pastoral care organization. Jameson described the event as an act of “joyous resistance” — a direct response to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Jameson is concerned about Barrett’s record on LGBTQ rights, as well as that of President Trump’s administration.

“She is looking to roll back a number of rights around reproductive justice, immigration, the ACA, and LGBTQ rights and marriage — and I was upset about that,” said Jameson. “Then I thought, the thing that I can do directly is to help with LGBTQ marriages, and so I put together an event to do something with my ‘mad’ and make a positive impact in our community.”

Between Monday and Thursday, Jameson said 16 couples had either gotten married or renewed their vows.

Krutzsch and Raster said they don’t view their wedding as an act of protest, though Krutzsch acknowledged that she feels some concern that the changing composition of the Supreme Court could put same-sex marriages at risk.

“I don't know if that’s like, first on the agenda, but yeah, it is a concern,” she said.

For now, the couple said they feel good knowing that they’ve put things in place legally to protect the lives they’ve built together.

“We’ve just been kind of riding a high all week,” said Raster. “I can’t stop smiling.”

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

Stay Connected
Emily is the senior producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.

St. Louis Public Radio is your trusted source for reliable reporting on politics in the St. Louis region, Jefferson City, Rolla, and the Metro East. Through Election Day and beyond, we will be here, delivering the news, providing context and keeping you updated on everything that is happening. It’s all possible because of donations from people like you. Support this work by making a donation today.