11 California couples hoping for the Supreme Court to overturn Proposition 8
December 17, 2012
UPDATED 3/1: For four years, same-sex couples in California have been riding a roller coaster of emotions - they were granted the freedom to marry in May 2008, then denied it in November 2008 with the passage of the anti-gay Proposition 8, then saw Prop 8 ruled unconstitutional over the next several years by a district court and a court of appeals.
This month, the Proposition 8 case - Hollingworth v. Perry - will finally get its chance to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court will hear oral arguments in the case on March 26, and a ruling is expected by June 2013. In the past week, dozens of "friend of the court" briefs have been filed in Hollingworth - including, last night, by the Obama Administration, and earlier this week by over 80 Republican leaders.
Thousands of couples will be affected by the Supreme Court's ruling - real people with real lives and real families. Couples who married in the five-month period during which all Californians had the freedom to marry want Prop 8 ruled unconstitutional to restore the proper dignity and respect that their marriages deserve. Other couples got married in different states, and now they need their home state to respect their marriages. And thousands of couples in the state weren't ready to marry in 2008, or they have fallen in love in the four years since 2008. But they all have two key things in common: They love each other, and they need to see Proposition 8 overturned.
Meet 11 loving couples urging the Supreme Court to stand on the Right Side of History by overturning Prop 8.
1. Nathalie and Hope (San Diego, CA)
Nathalie Gauthier is a Canadian citizen who has lived in the United States for the past 17 years, running a circus arts school of performance. She has been with her partner Hope Hall, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, for six years, and the couple plans to hold a wedding ceremony in June of 2013. They hope by that time - or shortly after - the Supreme Court affirms their commitment by striking down Prop 8. The women are also eagerly awaiting the defeat of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which restricts Nathalie from permanently and securely immigrating to the United States to be with Hope. READ THEIR STORY.
2. Mignon and Elaine (Los Angeles, CA)
Mignon Moore and Elaine Harvey have been together for over ten years. They moved to Los Angeles in 2008 and became domestic partners, but they were not able to marry before Proposition 8 dealt a blow to fairness and equality in the state. After years of waiting, they decided this year that they didn't want to wait anymore: They attained their official marriage license in New York, where both women were raised, and they celebrated with their friends and family in Los Cabos, Mexico. Now, they need to see their marriage respected by the state where they've made their life together. READ THEIR STORY.
3. Thom and Jeff (San Francisco, CA)
Thom Watson and Jeff Tabaco met ten years ago in Washington, D.C. when they began commenting on each other's personal blogs and having in-depth discussions on anything from food to books to world events. When they began an off-line relationship, they quickly realized they had feelings for each other, and packed up to move to California, nearby where Jeff grew up in San Francisco. Although they wanted to marry, Proposition 8 ensured that they could not. Now, after a commitment ceremony in California, they're looking forward to the Supreme Court standing on the Right Side of History by striking down Prop 8 and allowing them to finally marry. READ THEIR STORY.
4. Corri and Dianne (Los Angeles, CA)
Corri and Dianne have been together for nearly ten years, and they are one of 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California in the five month window between May and November 2008. As longtime activists for the LGBT community, both women were devastated when Prop 8 passed in November, and now they're hoping that it is overturned for good. The women have two daughters, and they want to raise them in a state where same-sex couples are treated equally and afforded the same respect, protections, and security that different-sex couples receive. READ THEIR STORY.
5. Tommy and Kendrick (Sacramento, CA)
Tommy Trejo and Kendrick Hocker have been together for 22 years. The Sacramento natives married in the five-month period where same-sex couples were permitted to do so in the state, and they recently celebrated the fourth anniversary of their ceremony. They are holding out for the day when all of their friends and finally marry in the state.
6. Corrie and Jennifer (San Diego, CA)
Corrie Sharp and Jennifer Tom have been together for nearly a decade. They described the Prop 8 experience by saying that it had definitely "taken a psychological toll" on same-sex couples in California, and they are glad to see that the nation's highest court will get the chance to correct this grave injustice. They got married in September in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and they want California to respect their marriagee. READ THEIR STORY.
7. Robert and Andy(San Francisco, CA)
Four and a half years ago, in June of 2008, Robert Rohr and Andy Goldfarb stood in the chamber of City Hall in San Francisco, with some friends and family members by their side, and exchanged vows, promising love and commitment to each other forever. They were one of the lucky 18,000 same-sex couples who were able to marry in the 5-month period after the state Supreme Court approved the freedom to marry and before anti-gay forces pushed through Proposition 8. Now the couple, who have been an integral part of each other's lives for nearly 20 years, is hoping for a Supreme Court win so that other same-sex couples in California will be able to share in the same joy that they felt on their wedding day. READ THEIR STORY.
8. Tony and Kevin (San Bruno, CA)
Kevin Dowell and Tony Ring have been together for nearly five years, after meeting and falling in love in college. In August, they were thrilled to be able to host a happy ceremony and celebration of their commitment to each other - and that their first date nearly five years ago represented the last Valentine's Day they'd spend alone. But they know that marriage matters - and that Proposition 8 must be overturned. Check out photos and video from their gorgeous wedding on Lake Tahoe! READ THEIR STORY. (Photo by Memoire Studio)
9. Renata and Lori (San Francisco, CA)
Renata Moreira and Lori Bilella have been together for four years. They live together in San Francisco, although Lori was born in New Jersey and Renata is originally from Brazil. They plan on hosting a large wedding ceremony in September 2013 in New York City with their friends and family, and they also plan on marrying in San Francisco as soon as the Supreme Court makes a decision on Prop 8. The couple is also hoping to see an end to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which would prohibit federal respect for their marriage. "As prospective parents, we've been diligently researching how to best protect our children across state and country lines," Renata explained. "Our extended families live in Latin America, and we travel frequently across the country and abroad. Because of DOMA, we're unsure if and where our new family will be protected under the law." LIKE THEIR PHOTO ON FACEBOOK.
10. Bill and Scout (Los Angeles, CA)
You may recognize Bill Horn and Scout Masterson from their regular appearances on the hit Oxygen reality series Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, where they're regularly featured as the gay uncles ("guncles") to Tori Spelling's children. The couple has been together for nearly eleven years, and they had been domestic partners for a long time when the California Supreme Court approved the freedom to marry. They said they didn't feel an urgency to marry. "We didn't feel the need to run out and get married - but then when Prop 8 passed, it felt like a punch in the gut," Bill said. "It was demoralizing. I guess we didn't know we wanted marriage so badly until they took it away." Since 2008, Bill and Scout have hosted a commitment ceremony, documented on the series, welcomed a baby girl, Simone, into their lives via open adoption, and launched Hold My Hand, an adoption mentoring service. If the Supreme Court does overturn Prop 8 in 2013, Bill and Scout know exactly what they'll be doing: "It will feel amazing," Bill said. "We'll be running out and getting married. LIKE THEM ON FACEBOOK.
11. Jen and Amanda (Pinole, CA)
Amanda and Jen Hopping-Winn met in grad school at UC Berkeley in the fall of 2007, when they were both studying to receive their Masters degree in Social Welfare. Three years later, in February 2010, they hosted a ceremony in Amanda's Jewish temple in her hometown of Cherry Hill, NJ, officiated by her childhood rabbi, which helped Jen's family come to terms with her sexuality. "The fact that our relationship was recognized by a religious officiant - albeit not by the state - helped legitimize our relationship to her family," Amanda explained. That year, Amanda and Jen also welcomed a son into their family. They're currently beginning the process of having a second child, and, Amanda said, "We'd love to be married legally before that child is born. We'd love to show our kids that their family is no less than any other family." LIKE THEIR PHOTO ON FACEBOOK.
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