Nigel Simon and Alvin Williams

Alvin, 50, is a dentist in private practice after retiring from the U.S. Army where he was a dental officer. Nigel, 36, is a program manager for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Nigel previously served in the U.S. Army National guard as a military police specialist.

They live in Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County Maryland and have been together for six years. They have an adopted 7-year-old son, and are in the process of adopting another 7-year-old boy and his biological sister, who is 9.

Both Alvin and Nigel are active in community service, serving on the board of directors of "Us Helping Us" — an HIV/AIDS service organization committed to reducing HIV infection in the African-American community. Alvin and Nigel also attend worship services at Covenant Baptist Church. They met at a discussion group for black gay men. "It was love at first sight," Alvin says.

"I have long felt as married as anyone who loves and lives with their spouse, raises kids, owns a home, and even drives a minivan," Nigel says. "Although we are a family in every way imaginable — a family with one military veteran and one federal employee — we are not fully protected as a family under the law."