PHOTOS: 13 gay hopes to ring in the New Year
December 26, 2012
2012 was a big year for the freedom to marry - but we want 2013 to be even bigger. That's why we gathered together 13 loving and committed same-sex couples from across the country to share their thoughts on what they'd like to see in the new year. Whether they're personally hoping for the freedom to marry in their home state, for an end to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, or for greater respect for committed same-sex couples nationwide, their responses show that there's a lot to work toward in 2013. To help us get there, tell us you're on the Right Side of History!
Jonathan Franqui and Dwayne Beebe (Pensacola, FL)
Getting married in MD Jan. 2013, Hosting ceremony in FL March 2013
"Our hope is that the Supreme Court recognizes the importance of marriage in 2013. We also wish to see the military accept LGBT families as equal as other military families. Marriage and acceptance are foundations for a strong society and will help strengthen the LGBT community. We hope our own wedding on March 30 is as beautiful and perfect as we have always dreamed." (Navy Senior Chief Dwayne Beebe proposed to Jonathan Franqui at the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade in July 2012) READ MORE.
Jo and Teresa (Cheverly, MD)
Together 29 years, getting married in MD May 2013
"Our long time wish will come true this year one week before our 30th anniversary in May when, in front of our parents, family and friends, we can finally get legally married in our home state of Maryland. We also wish for a solid decision by the Supreme Court which will strike down the Defense of Marriage Act so all loving and committed families across the country will be able to better protect ourselves and our amazing families." (Jo Deutsch and Teresa Williams shared their story with Freedom to Marry in October to shine a light on the importance of voting for Question 6 in Maryland) READ MORE.
Tim and Keno (IA and the Philippines)
Getting married in November 2013 if DOMA is repealed
"Our holiday wish is that all people be treated equal, that DOMA be repealed and that all binational couples, like us, be allowed to be with one another to celebrate all our future Christmases sitting by the tree, looking at the lights, and experiencing the greatest gift of all: togetherness." (Tim Judd lives in Iowa and Keno Manansala lives in the Philippines. If they were married, Tim would not be able to sponsor Keno for immigration purposes because the men are a binational same-sex couple, and this type of sponsorship is prohibited by the Defense of Marriage Act. If DOMA is overturned in June by the Supreme Court, they plan to marry in November 2013 and host a larger ceremony in November 2014) READ MORE about binational same-sex couples.
Mignon and Elaine (Los Angeles, CA)
Legally married in NY March 2012, Hosted ceremony in Mexico August 2012
"Our hope is that every state in the union be required to recognize the legitimacy of our marriages. We also hope for greater understanding and acceptance of same-sex unions in our racial, ethnic and religious communities; in the suburbs, towns and rural areas of the country; and in the religious and cultural spaces that all shape who we are as a people." (Mignon Moore and Elaine Harvey are legally married in New York, where both women grew up, but because of Proposition 8, their marriage is not respected in California, where they've made a home for themselves. They shared their story with Freedom to Marry in November) READ MORE.
Jim and Duane (Minneapolis, MN)
Together nearly 27 years, Married in Canada in 2006
"We want our relationship to be recognized as equal to that of our parents, our siblings, or any other married members of our families. We have lived with each other longer than we have lived with anyone else. However, our biological families are the only ones by law who can make decisions for us and about us. In Minnesota we turned the tide of blatant discrimination against LGBT citizens by defeating the marriage limiting amendment to our state constitution. We hope that other states follow our lead. We hope the Supreme Court does the right thing and declares DOMA unconstitutional because it is clearly discriminatory to a particular segment of our citizenry. Most of all we just want to be acknowledged as each other's next of kin." (Jim Lawser and Duane Bandel contributed to Minnesotans United for All Families last year in the successful campaign to block an anti-gay constitutional amendment in the state. Now, they're looking toward 2013 to finish the job) READ MORE.
Bill and Scout (Los Angeles, CA)
Together 11 years, Domestic Partners in CA
"We wish in 2013 that the cause for marriage for all Americans moves significantly forward. Of course, we wish we could wake up on New Year's Day in a country that respects every one's equal rights, but that's not going to happen. But what we can wish for - and fight for - are meaningful, positive actions in the courts, legislators, and in public opinion that help bring our country closer to having the freedom to marry nationwide." (Bill Horn and Scout Masterson are series regulars on Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood, where they appear with their daughter Simone and play "Guncles" - gay uncles - to Tori Spelling's children. They head up Hold My Hand, an adoption mentoring service.) READ MORE.
Nicole and Carol (Kiawah Island, SC)
Hosted ceremony in SC Oct. 2012, Getting married in NY Jan. 2013
"We are traveling to New York this Christmas to be with family, and we are happy to be also be having a legal ceremony while we are there. We celebrated our commitment ceremony here in South Carolina in October and are excited to be making things legal in Nicole's home state. We intend to be married in each state that we are legally allowed to, and New York is the first stop on that newly expanded list. We are planning on being married in both California and Washington, D.C. in 2013, but now we are hoping the Supreme Court will take the opportunity presently before them to make our marriage federally legal and recognized." (Nicole Leaf and Carol Mason live in South Carolina)
Steve and Josh (Washington, D.C.)
Married in DC May 2011
"Our Holiday Wish for the new year is further protection of same sex married couples who have or are looking to adopt and/or have children. We look forward to having children but want to ensure they are protected - from making sure that both parents can have adoptive rights to ensuring family benefits will help lead to a healthy life. Couples like Charlie & Karen Morgan, who are co-plaintiffs in our case against DOMA with SLDN, are fighting right now for the protection of their family - all while Charlie battles stage 4 breast cancer. We want to win this battle against DOMA so Charlie and her family can focus on each other now instead or for the rights they already deserve. All families are precious and must be protected." (Major Steve Snyder-Hill and Joshua Snyder-Hill are plaintiffs in McLaughlin v. Panetta, a challenge to the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. They are one of hundreds of same-sex military couples directly hurt by DOMA) READ MORE.
Carol and Lisa (North Hampton, MA)
Married in MA December 2012
"Our hope is that same sex couples will feel welcome when they go and get their marriage licenses. We hope to see more teachers and schools accept children who have same-sex parents and for the kids to feel normal. We want to see more and more states respect same-sex couples, meaning that we have the same protections, such as insurance, tax laws, the ability to adopt without prejudice, and to live as a one-unit family. We want everyone to be able to get married in all 50 states." (Carol Johnson and Lisa Claiborne married in front of their friends and family in December)
Casey and Eric (Minneapolis, MN)
Married in IA and hosted ceremony in MN Sept. 2012
"We hope that more couples get the freedom to marry in their home states. We hope that Governor Dayton signs marriage into law here in Minnesota. We hope that our story shows our son that we're not only fighting for ourselves, but for his freedom to marry as well." (Casey Fritz and Eric Sodemann shared their story with Freedom to Marry in October to shine a light on the importance of voting NO on the Minnesota marriage amendment) READ MORE.
Matthew and Terence (New York, NY)
Married in NY May 2012
"Our holiday wish is that everybody has the right to get married with out crossing state lines. It's true what they say, that being married 'feels different,' and so we hope in 2013 that every gay American is given the chance to have that experience." (Matthew Gray and Terence Noonan live in New York, where the freedom to marry passed a year and a half ago) READ MORE stories of weddings in New York.
Brandi and Kate (Granite City, IL)
Together 9 years, Joined in civil union in IL Oct. 2012
"We want to see DOMA repealed! We want everyone to have the freedom to marry the person they love! Love is a connection that no one can put a label on. It's a bond that is indescribable. We met our soul mate, and we happened to be the same gender - but the connection is the same. We met, fell in love, and wish to seal our love like anyone else. We are a natural, beautiful thing, and we want that for everyone." (Brandi and Kate Davis joined together in civil union in October 2012 in Illinois. Now they are looking toward the IL legislature to complete the journey on marriage and establish the freedom to marry in the state)
Bill and Kris (Birmingham, MI)
Together 12 years, Married in NY December 2012
"Our hope in the coming year is for other multigenerational couples to unlock their minds to what was once considered only a right of heterosexual couples and take the plunge. Nether of us have cried tears of pure joy as much as we have over the past six months. It's an unbelievable feeling knowing you have a right to show the world your love and no one can take away." (Bill and Kris Hathaway have been together for 12 years and are 12 years apart in age. They feel it is important to emphasize the generational differences in believing that same-sex couples will one day have the freedom to marry)
You can help make all of these couples' dreams a reality by giving to Freedom to Marry's Right Side of History campaign! LEARN MORE HERE.