Read the stories of the families fighting for marriage before the Supreme Court

Yesterday, April 16, the Associated Press published 15 profiles exploring the personal stories of the people who are putting their families, lives, and love in the spotlight to fight for the freedom to marry across the nation. The profiles delve into the lives of plaintiffs from the cases from Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Michigan, explaining, in their words, why marriage matters to them.

In just over one week, on April 28, the United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in cases from these four states on the freedom to marry. Last month, it was announced that Massachusetts marriage case lawyer Mary Bonauto and former Assistant U.S. Solicitor General Douglas Hallward-Driemier will present these arguments before the court.

The stories published by the Associated Press offer a glimpse at how the brave plaintiffs in these cases arrived where they are now, making a case for marriage not only for their own lives, but for the whole nation. 

David Michener, a widower from Ohio, joined the marriage case to be included in his husband's death certificate when he unexpectedly passed away. David is raising his three children alone, and a judge in Ohio granted a temporary restraining order in the state's marriage ban, allowing David to be listed on his husband's death certificate. David explained that he was fighting for marriage for his family. "I think with every tragedy, there needs to be a positive outcome," Michener told the AP. "Everyone is entitled to equality. If the courts have to get involved, they do. I want to be [at the Supreme Court during the oral arguments] as a family and show my children that if you feel something is wrong and you have the facts on your side, you've got to fight for it."

Tammy Boyd and Kim Franklin married in Connecticut, but their marriage is not respected in their home state of Kentucky. Many of their loved ones were unable to make the trip to their wedding five years ago, something that was devastating for the two of them. "We took up this fight because there's so many people coming up behind us that should not have to go through what we went through," Kim told the AP. "It's been a nice adventure for us. Love will win."

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who are unable to marry in their home state of Michigan, told the AP of their surprise that so many people in their community were affected by their decision to take on the marriage ban in the state. "We're kind of in shock and awe of where we've gotten to," April said. "There are days we question: How did we get here? We've been stopped multiple times at our local shopping center with people just telling their story. These are people's lives that we've changed."

Freedom to Marry applauds all of the plaintiff families for their tenacity and courage in putting their families up front in the national conversation on marriage. Read the rest of the profiles here:

Michigan Families:

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse

Tennessee Families:

Johno Espejo and Matthew Mansell

Valeria Tanco and Sophy Jesty

Ijpe deKoe and Thom Kostura

Kentucky Families:

Kelly Noe and Kelly McCracken

Kim Franklin and Tammy Boyd

Greg Bourke and Michael DeLeon

Paul Campion and Randy Johnson

Maurice Blanchard and Dominique James

Pam & Nicole Yorksmith

Luke Barlowe and Jimmy Meade

Ohio Families:

Brittani Henry and Brittni Rogers

David Michener

Jim Obergefell

Joseph Vitale and Robert Talmas