22 same-sex couples celebrating marriage triumphs at the ballot

On Tuesday, we made history in the campaign to win marriage nationwide: We won four ballot measures concerning the freedom to marry. We've won the freedom to marry in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, and we've blocked the anti-gay constitutional amendment in Minnesota. 

As we reflect on this momentous step forward in the marriage movement and for same-sex couples across the country, it is important to talk about the stories of the real couples and families behind this victory. Now, thanks to the state campaigns in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington, and thanks to millions of voters who stood up for fairness for all families last night, thousands of couples in these two states will soon be able to marry. 

Read stories of twenty-two same-sex couples who are having a really great day today.  

1. Beth & Valerie (Fletcher's Landing Township, ME)

Beth and Valerie have been together for more than five years. They live with their 2-year-old daughter, Oakley, and their 8-year-old, Fiona, who Beth had been raising since before meeting Valerie. Beth has been working on the field team for Mainers United for Marriage, motivated by protecting her children and making sure they understand that their family is just as good as all other families. READ THEIR STORY. 


2. Lakisha & ShaDonna (Prince George's County, MD)

ShaDonna and Lakisha have been together for over four years after meeting in Washington, D.C. The couple built a home together in Prince George's County, MD and are now looking toward plans to marry. When they choose to officially tie the knot, they want to ensure that their marriage is respected by their state. In the lead-up to Election Day, they worked on a personal level with their friends and family members, asking them to pledge their support for Question 6. They are ecstatic that their efforts - and the efforts of thousands of others - paid off in Maryland last night. READ THEIR STORY.  

3. Nick & Andy (Minneapolis, MN) 

Nick and Andy have lived in Minnesota for most of their lives. They were raised in Minnesota. They went to school together at Minnesota State University, Mankato, where they met. And for the past 14 years, as they've pledged their love and commitment to each other, they've made a life together in Minnesota. They were ecstatic that the amendment was defeated on Tuesday, and they're hopeful for a day soon when all couples in the state can share in the freedom to marry. READ THEIR STORY. 


4. Cat & Jaime (Belfast, ME)

Cat and Jaime have been together for six years. They live in Maine and have three sons. Although at the time, marriage for same-sex couples was not respected by the state of Maine, they held a ceremony on September 1, 2012. The ceremony was performed by the couple's pastor, and over 100 friends and family members came together to celebrate their love and commitment. Jaime said, "The day was absolutely perfect in every way. We decided that we didn't want to wait for the vote and allow it to be up to everyone else if we could get married or not - so we just did it anyway. Even though it was not legally recognized, it was very real to us, our children, our friends, and our family." We are so thrilled for Cat and Jaime - and thousands of same-sex couples in Maine - that they now have the freedom to marry.  "LIKE" THEIR PHOTO ON FACEBOOK.


5. Erin & Liberty (Minneapolis, MN) 

Erin and Liberty live together in Minneapolis with their daughter, Ivy. They love that the great state of Minnesota has rejected the anti-gay constitutional amendment, and they're looking forward to the day in Minnesota when they can share in all of the protections and joys that marriage provides. WATCH THEIR STORY. 

6. Joe & Steve (Baltimore, MD)

Joe and Steve attended a Baltimore Pride earlier this year with Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the coalition working to pass Question 6 at the ballot and win marriage for all loving and committed same-sex couples. They pledged their support to voting for 6 and explained that they are in love and should have the freedom to marry. CHECK OUT THEIR PHOTO.


7. Colleen & Lee Ann (Seattle, WA)

Colleen and Lee Ann have been together for eight years. They legally married on Vancouver Island in Canada in 2006 and adopted a son, Callum, who Colleen calls "the sweetest, most loving little guy in the world." Colleen worked during the election season as the volunteer coordinator for Washington United for Marriage, and she and Le Ann are now thrilled that they'll get the chance to get married in Washington, in the state where they have made their home. READ THEIR STORY.  

8. Sarah & Linda (Freeport, ME) 

Sarah and Linda have been together for 18 years. They have a daughter together, Meredith, and Linda has three adult daughters, all of whom are married. They have five grandchildren. They joined together in a civil union in Vermont on their fifth anniversary. 'We've been through the 'For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health' thing that wedded couples go through," Sarah said. Now, they are so excited that their state will finally be granting them legal respect for these vows. READ THEIR STORY. 


9. Lindsey & Jessica (Silver Spring, MD)

Lindsey and Jessica have been together for nearly two years after meeting and falling in love with Washington, D.C. The couple plans to marry in Maryland in March 2013, at an outdoor retreat location in the woods just minutes away from the place they got engaged. They want to celebrate their wedding day without ruining it with an asterisk - that is, without having to cross over the DC border just to make it legal. They're thrilled that they'll be able to do that in March now that Marylanders voted for fairness for all families. READ THEIR STORY. 


10. Michael & Jamil (Minneapolis, MN)

Michael and Jamil have been together for over five years. They share custody of a 7-year-old daughter named Madison and are legally married, although Minnesota does not recognize their relationship. "Nothing about our situation is any different from anybody else," Michael said, explaining, "I fell in love with him, he fell in love with me. I'm committed to him mind, body, and soul." WATCH THEIR STORY. 

 11. Haley & Lauren (ME)

Haley and Lauren held a wedding ceremony earlier this summer in Haley's home state of Maine. Now that Maine has won the freedom to marry, they're excited to return and make their marriage legal. CHECK OUT THEIR PHOTO. 


12. Angela & Maria (WA) 

Angela and Maria have been living together in Washington with their child, and they're beaming that soon, their relationship to be respected by their state! "We want our family to have the social support and recognition that comes with marriage," they said before the vote. "Our daughter deserves nothing less."

 13. Bobbi & Jen (Baltimore, MD)

Bobbi and Jen have been together for three years after meeting and becoming friends by playing together in the same rock band. They celebrated a "non-legal" wedding ceremony in Maryland in November 2011, and they're stoked to see their state grant them official, legal respect after this historic win at the ballot. READ THEIR STORY. 

14. Casey & Eric (Minneapolis, MN)

Casey and Eric have been together for over five years. They legally married in Iowa in September 2012 and would love to eventually have their marriage recognized in their home state. They are so glad that Minnesota rejected the anti-gay amendment. "We have been called heroes," Casey said about people's reactions when he tells them he's legally married. "We have been called trailblazers. We have been called role models. But all we want to be called is 'married.'" READ THEIR STORY. 


15. Jim & Steve (Saco, ME)

Jim and Steve have been together for thirty-seven years. They own a business together in Maine, and they've recently purchased a house in a community in Saco. "We have the same concerns that all of our straight, married friends who are couples have," the couple says in a video produced by New Left Media. "We're worried about retirement. We're worried about health care: I want to make sure that I have access to Jim. We feel very confident that Maine will give us the right to marry, and that's what we've been waiting for." We are so excited for Jim and Steve and their suspicions were correct - and that they'll now have their 37 years together fully respected by the state of Maine! The photo is of Jim and Duane on Election Day, volunteering with Mainers United for Marriage. READ THEIR STORY. 


 16. Jo & Teresa (Cheverly, MD)

Jo and Teresa have been together for 29 years. They have three children together. When they voted this morning, Jo reflected on casting her historic vote. She said, "Voting for Question 6 was remarkable. How astonishing a vote for me and Teresa - an affirmation of our 29 years together and the wonderful family we have. All of our fingers and toes are now crossed for a victory in Maryland!" We're so excited that they'll be able to marry after all of these years together. READ THEIR STORY. 

17. Pablo & Derrick (Tacoma, WA) 

Pablo and Derek married in Washington after many years together in August of this year. Pablo propsed to Derrick shortly after the state legislature passed the freedom to marry, and now they want to make sure Ref. 74 is approved so they can have all of the legal protections and responsibilities that come with marriage. Pablo served in the U.S. Navy for four years and is now in the Army National Guard. He is a Republican. And he's thrilled that his marriage to the man he loves will now be respected under Washington law.  READ THEIR STORY.


18. Lucie & Annie (West Rockport, ME)

Lucie and Annie have been together for nearly 19 years in Maine. Annie is a clinical social worker, Lucie recently retired from teaching art history to college students. The couple are proud and active members of the First Universalist Church in Rockland, ME, where they met. They are ecstatic that they'll get to proclaim their deep love for each other through marriage in Maine.  READ THEIR STORY. 

19. Jim & Duane (Minneapolis, MN)

Jim and Duane have been together for twenty-six years. They married on their twentieth anniversary in Vancouver, Canada, and they now live in Minnesota, constantly aware that they need to carry around paperwork and documentation to demonstrate their love and commitment. They are happy to see that Minnesotans rejected the anti-gay constitutional amendment and are hopeful for the day when the state of Minnesota will respect their marriage.  READ THEIR STORY. 

 20. Michele & Monica (MD)

Michele and Monica have been together for over ten years. They held a wedding ceremony on April 30, 2011 and are thrilled that they'll get the chance to make it legal in their home state. Michele said, "Marriage means finally being able to pursue life, liberty, and happiness under equal protection of the law as a proud gay woman in a loving, committed relationship. Marriage equality in Maryland means standing on the side of love, equality, and fairness." CHECK OUT THEIR PHOTO. 


21. Meredith & Anne (Portland, ME)

Meredith and Anne voted Yes on 1 because they didn't want to have to explain to their children why they aren't married like other parents, even though they're a happy family. They live in Maine together, and they're ecstatic that they'll be able to legally married where they live. WATCH THEIR STORY. 

22. Corianton & Keith (Seattle, WA)

Corianton and Keith have been together for six years. They met through mutual friends, bonded over their love of "weird movies and loud rock shows," and got engaged on the third anniversary of their first kiss. They married earlier this year and are counting down the days until they're legally married in the great state of Washington.