Denise and Treeva Liggett-Creek

Denise and Treeva Liggett-Creek met through a mutual friend. Denise is an independent financial advisor and Treeva is a media and promotions specialist at a college in Maryland. Together they are raising two young daughters, Dominique, age 11, and Alexandra, age 6. Their decision to have a wedding was not only based on their mutual love and admiration for each other, but also a desire to share their commitment with family and friends. How do we know what love is if we do not see it? The merging of two lives does not come without community.

Says Treeva, "I am a very traditional person with a Catholic upbringing. I believe in marriage. I believe that when two people come together and make a commitment... that is forever. Marriage is that institution."

Many committed same-sex couples share the same responsibilities as married couples. However, without the freedom to marry, they do not receive the same recognition or protections for their families as married couples. In fact, same-sex couples and their kids face tremendous discrimination. For example, lesbians and gay men who have been their partner's primary caretaker are often denied hospital visitation when there's been an accident or illness, or the ability to obtain "family" health coverage, or taxation and inheritance rights, or even protection in case the relationship ends. Sometimes they see their children taken away, or their role as parents denied. Regardless of the fact that they have taken responsibility for their children's and their partner's well-being, both economically and emotionally, legally their status is, at best, that of a roommate. Denied the freedom to marry, same-sex couples and their kids are deprived of literally thousands of legal and economic protections and responsibilities, as well as the emotional, social, and spiritual meaning that marriage has for many.