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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Sharon Nelson and Debbie Clark had tears of joy in their eyes as they walked out of the Tarrant County Clerk’s office with a marriage license the day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same sex marriages must be made legal.

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“I sent my boss a text message today and told him I was going to get my marriage license and I said love wins, hate loses,” Nelson said. “And that’s what it’s all about. We love each other. And we’re going to be legally married.”

Nelson and Clark have waited almost 20 years to be allowed to get a marriage license.

“We have a life together,” Nelson said. “We have a home together. We’ve raised four children together. And a granddaughter. This just reaffirms our validity in the world.”

It was an unprecedented scene at the county clerk’s office that repeated itself throughout the day. Same-sex couples with marriage licenses smiling, posing for pictures and expressing their love.

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“Just tears and elation,” said David Mack Henderson, head of Fairness Fort Worth, said. “There are people — I’ve hardly ever seen someone shake with joy and I’ve seen that half a dozen times already.”

In Nelson and Clark’s case, there is a sense of relief that the lives they’ve built together are now legally protected.

“Today, to be able to get marriage license and not have that fear any more is just amazing,” Clark said. “It’s just incredible.”

As of 4:00pm Friday, Tarrant County had issued 91 marriage licenses, 36 of them were for same-sex couples.

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