Delia Meraz and Persephone Gonzalez

Delia Meraz and Persephone Gonzalez, together 10 years, own a house together and spend much of their time doing home improvement and tending to their yard, garden, and avocado tree.

"We both value tradition, culture, family and integrity. That is what has kept us together for 10 years," says Persephone. "We accept each other's differences, encourage each other's success and freedom. We share the same progressive politics and take action for our beliefs. Though Delia is an engineer and I'm a teacher and artist, we learn from these differences and celebrate them. We love each other very, very deeply."

Persephone continues, "The common idea is that Latino families reject their gay children, but it is not always that way and doesn't have to be that way." And Delia concurs. "Our moms are always sending salsa recipes over. And they expect the same responsibilities from us as they would from anyone married into the family."

Persephone gets health insurance on Delia's plan with the Gas Company. When Persephone worked for the LA County Office of Education, they were initially denied. LACOE required too much burden of proof for the young couple, such as proof of joint assets like credit cards. The couple was struggling financially and did not have any credit cards.

There are more than 1,000 rights and protections under federal law alone to which married couples are entitled. Many, such as Social Security benefits, and workers' compensations, derive from an individual's employment status. Refusing to legally recognize same-sex relationships deprives thousands of families of the most important attributes of their labor; the ability to take care of and provide for their family members.