American Foundation for Equal Rights

Marriage News Blog

Closer Together: Neka and Diana’s Love Story

This is part of AFER’s Love Stories series about couples who are waiting to get married in California. If you are a gay and lesbian couple who is planning to get married, tell us your story and you could be featured.

First Comes Love

Birthdays are important to Rancho Cucamonga, CA couple Neka Dunlap and Diana Delgado. They first met at the birthday party of a common friend six years ago and quickly became friends upon realizing that they share the same birthdate. In the several years of friendship that followed, they would share their special day with one another, in part because they had so many friends in common.

However after a few years of knowing each other, the couple realized that there was something more to their friendship. “Since that first date, we have always been together,” said Diana. For Neka, the connection was immediate. “I knew pretty early in the relationship that I wanted to marry her,” she said.

An Exotic Proposal

Their common birthday also provided the perfect cover for a wedding proposal. Diana thought Neka planned a vacation to Jamaica as a birthday gift and as a way for her to learn about Neka’s heritage. Little did she know, Neka had bought an engagement ring earlier that year and planned to pop the question.

“My parents are from Jamaica and because it’s a strong part of who I am, I wanted to share that with Diana. That’s why I thought I’d propose on the island,” said Neka.

On their last night, Neka planned a candle-lit dinner on the beach. At the end of the meal, the waiter brought out dessert. By the time Diana saw the words “Will you marry me?” scrolled in chocolate on her plate, Neka was on one knee, looking up at her and holding a diamond ring.

“Neka and I are really old fashioned and we really believe in marriage. So it just made sense that we would take that next step,” said Diana.

Wedding Prep

Before they tie the knot officially, the two decided to move in together. “We actually lived pretty far from each other. I lived in Long Beach and Neka lived in Rancho Cucamonga. And I decided to move to Rancho because she has built a life here and it was best for us for me to live with her. Now we are together,” she said.

But moving in with one another didn’t stop Diana’s long commute. She said, “I’m commuting every day from Rancho Cucamonga to Torrance, where I still work.” It takes her two hours each way, amounting to 4 hours of travel per day. But for her it’s worth it, because she and Neka have begun a life together.

New Meaning

The couple had planned a ceremony on September 7 to declare their love before family and friends. But after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on Prop. 8 and DOMA, their wedding has new meaning. Neka says that the Supreme Court’s rulings “were powerful for us because for the first time I felt that this country finally considered me, my life, and my love as being worthy of acknowledgment and equal treatment.”

The day after the decisions, she went to work and proudly announced her plans to her coworkers. She told them, elated, “I’m getting married—not a commitment ceremony, but a marriage ceremony, a wedding. My partner will not be my partner anymore… she will be my wife.”

The couple immediately contacted their attorney and cancelled their appointment to file for a domestic partnership. Instead they will be getting a marriage license.

But the couple acknowledges that despite the historic progress we’re seeing, there is still more to be done. “We have come a long way but still have more work to do to ensure that all of our brothers and sisters can be able to have this right in every state and every country.”


Neka and Diana were married on September 3, 2013 at Rancho Las Lomas in Orange County, California.

Diana sent us some words about what the ceremony was like:

“[There is] something about those vows; professing your undying love to one another not only to each other but in the presence of your loved ones, does something to you.  The bond that is created from the moment you are in front of the Reverend, its breathtaking, it really sets forth your future together.”

And on what married life is like:

“We have been married one month now and I still feel butterflies every time I see her.  She’s just my bowl of sunshine.  We were very much committed to one another before…[but now with marriage equality] in full effect, life is so much easier, starting with the name change.  Having the freedom to say, this is my WIFE, Neka, not only by choice but by paper, LEGALLY. I am one proud wifey!

Here are a few photos from their wedding.