Love wins yet again. At least seven LGBTQ couples traveling through Central America as part of the migrant caravan paused to participate in a massive wedding ceremony at the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to NBC, officiants from Unitarian Universalist church wed the lovebirds in the combined celebration November 17 in Tijuana, Mexico. Located within Baja, California, the border town currently remains one of the few areas that recognizes same-sex marriage, despite Mexico's 2015 Supreme Court ruling that state limitations on equal marriage opportunities are unconstitutional.
NBC reports that many of the LGBTQ members of the migrant caravan have fled their homes to avoid acts of targeted violence, especially within the three countries of the Northern Triangle in Central America— El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Findings from Amnesty International show that murder rates in these respective regions largely surpass the World Health Organization's criteria for epidemic levels, which equates to 10 murders per 100,000 citizens. According to their data, El Salvador alone clocked in a horrifying murder rate of 81 per 100,000 people in 2016.
With that being said, about 80 LGBTQ adults and children fled to Tijuana last weekend, among them Pedro Nehemias Pastor and Erick Alexander Durán—one of the migrant couples who participated in the LGBTQ joint wedding.
"This is really a dream come true, because you don’t see this in our home countries and this is something that we’ve always wanted to do, and today we had the opportunity to do so," Nehemias Pastor told NBC in Spanish. "I’m very happy."
Hugo Córdoba, one of the ceremony officiants, also referred to the event as "an act of justice."
"The dream of marrying is an illusion for most of them," Córdoba added, per NBC. "We are helping them make this a reality."
While one dream—marriage—has been crossed off the checklist for the newly minted grooms, Durán and Nehemias Pastor must now wait to receive asylum in the United States, along with thousands of other Central American migrants.