I have loved Sarah since we met in 1985. Over the last 30+ years, we have made a life together. We are raising children together. We are active participants in our congregation and our community. We are the love of each others’ lives and we are happy.
And yet, something was missing: our ability to obtain a state-sanctioned marriage license in the state we call home. A license that would recognize and protect the relationship and family we’ve built together.
In May, our lives were turned upside down when Sarah was diagnosed with cancer and it became more important than ever to seek out this protection right here in Texas. When Judge Herman issued his ruling last week that the Texas marriage ban was unconstitutional, we saw our chance.
Sarah and I were able to marry right here in Texas and celebrate our legal union! To have our marriage recognized—to know that no matter what happens, that piece of paper assures us that our wishes are honored was truly an answered prayer.
AP Photo/Eric Gay
But not all love stories turn out like ours.
Thousands of same-gender-loving couples across our state are prevented from enjoying the privilege heterosexual Texans—and now Sarah and I—enjoy. Many couples are facing illness, raising children, making a life together—all coveting the security and recognition that opposite-gender couples achieve with a simple “I do.”
And further—our love story is under attack. Members of the Texas House and Senate want to punish hardworking state employees who comply with any future court order requiring Texas to recognize the freedom to marry, going so far as to propose all salary, benefits, and pensions be revoked from public servants who simply follow the law. Can you believe that? Moreover, the attorney general of our state not only wants the institution of marriage to remain exclusive, he wants our marriage invalidated, wants to strip us of our security. How can this be?
Many organizations have fought for us and stood by our side—none more so than Equality Texas. For years, they have been advocating not just for marriage equality but also for legislation that strengthens our relationships and our families and against laws borne out of bias toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans. That’s exactly why I’ve supported Equality Texas for many years—I deeply and personally believe in their work.
For us the struggle for fair and equal treatment is personal. But our victory is not just about us. It’s about everyone in Texas who is denied the privilege of marriage because of the gender of whom they love. Equality Texas is leading that fight—until the day all love stories can end with “I do” legally and everyone in our state is protected and treated with the dignity they deserve.
I am thrilled to learn from Equality Texas of a $5,000 matching challenge that has been committed in honor of our marriage. Today, I ask you to stand up for thousands of loving same-sex couples across Texas by supporting Equality Texas and helping them to meet this challenge.Please consider joining many of our friends in making a gift of $20, $50, $100 – or more – so Equality Texas can continue their advocacy and public education efforts.
Trust me: it makes—and is making—a difference.