14 couples hoping for marriage wins at the ballot on Election Day

In just one week, the freedom to marry is at stake in four different state elections, making this a big year for our momentum on marriage. Mainers will be asked to vote YES on Question 1, a proactive citizen's initiative to pass marriage for same-sex couples, while Maryland and Washington will be asked to vote FOR Question 6 and to APPROVE Referendum 74 to uphold the freedom to marry, which was passed legislatively in March and February, respectively. In Minnesota, voters will be asked to vote NO to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would permanetly ban the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

Real same-sex couples and real families will be affected by each of these ballot measures. We can make history by winning at the ballot on November 6, and by winning, we can also improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of families in these four states. Read these stories of fourteen couples in the ballot states who are hoping for marriage wins next week. 

1. 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 ready to see the state grant them official, legal respect after a win at the ballot. READ THEIR STORY. 


2. Casey & Eric (Minneapolis, MN)

Casey and Eric have been together for five years. They legally married in Iowa in September 2012 and would love to eventually have their marriage recognized in their home state. They don't want to see Minnesotans constitutionally ban the freedom to marry. "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. 


3. 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 wants to be able to legally marry the man he loves. READ THEIR STORY.


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

Beth and Valerie have been together for 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 works 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. 


 5. 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. READ THEIR STORY. 


6. 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. 


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 is now the volunteer coordinator for Washington United for Marriage, and she and Le Ann are working toward getting 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. By November 7, they're hoping their state will finally grant them legal respect for these vows. READ THEIR STORY. 


9. ShaDonna & Lakisha (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're working on a personal level with their friends and family members, asking them to pledge their support for Question 6, which would uphold marriage for same-sex couples in the state. READ THEIR STORY.  


10. 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 don't want to see their community invalidate their relationship by passing this discriminatory constitutional amendment. READ THEIR STORY. 


11. Jo & Teresa (Cheverly, MD) 

Jo and Teresa have been together for 29 years. They have three children together, and if Question 6 passes in Maryland, they hope to marry on their 30th anniversary, with their children walking them down the aisle and "giving them away." They got engaged on the day that marriage for same-sex couples passed in Massachusetts, and in those eight years, they've gotten excited for the day where they too can have the legal protections that married couples need. READ THEIR STORY. 


12. Angela & Maria (WA) 

Angela and Maria have been living together in Washington with their child, and they simply want their relationship to be respected by their state. "We want our family to have the social support and recognition that comes with marriage," they say. "Our daughter deserves nothing less."

13. 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." WATCH THEIR STORY.


14. Erin & Liberty (Minneapolis, MN) 

Erin and Liberty live together in Minneapolis with their daughter, Ivy. "It's unfortunate that there's been so much time and money spent toward this amendment," the couple says in a video from Minnesotans United for All Families. "There are a lot of things in this state that we really should be putting more money toward." WATCH THEIR STORY.