Three Kentucky sisters speak out for their moms’ freedom to marry

Editors' Note: Kinsey Morrison shared her family's story as part of the "Voices of Children" amicus brief filed to the U.S. Supreme Court by the Family Equality Council and COLAGE this year. Read more about the brief here, and read a story about Kinsey in The Washington Blade here.

"I have never suffered from having gay parents," Teagan said.

"I have only suffered because I live in a nation that does not always live up to its own self-evident truths," her older sister Jillian added.

Along with their oldest sister, Kinsey, the three girls have created a video to highlight the inequality that their family faces every day because their mothers are denied the rights and responsibilities of marriage in their home state of Kentucky. "Our moms, who have been together for 23 years engaged for 19, who have built a life together and raised three children together," Teagan said, "They can’t be married." And that's unacceptable to these three sisters, who know their family is just as good as any.

The sisters all remember times that they were treated differently because of their family, and their inability to understand that. To them, their mothers are the best parents that could ever be. "I remember in 7th grade, I heard two girls say, 'maybe gay people should be able to marry, but they definitely shouldn’t be able to have kids,'" Kinsey remembered. "I just stood there, frozen, so badly wanting to escape, but I couldn’t."

Remembering moments like this inspired the sisters to make this video and start a blog, The 321, about life in their loving family. The girls don't want any children of same-sex parents to feel silenced and scared as they did at times growing up. “Having gay parents has helped me become kinder and more understanding for all marginalized people," Jillian said. "Because I understand what it’s like to have a family that’s invisible.”

Karen and Audrey, the mothers that these sisters speak so fondly of, began their relationship 23 years ago, and are planning on getting legally married in March of 2015. Karen is the President and CEO of a cancer support community in Louisville, and Audrey is a retired teacher.

The three sisters are a wonderful example of just how important a committed, close family can be -- they're all remarkably talented, ambitious, and as well spoken as they are thoughtful. Teagan is an enthusiastic singer, and has acted in several school plays in lead roles. Jillian in musically gifted, and taught herself how to play piano at a young age. And Kinsey, a cancer survivor and motivational speaker, recently started college at Stanford.

Teagan, Jillian, and Kinsey hope that, by getting their story out, they can help move the state they live in, Kentucky, towards ending its marriage ban. As they've watched other states in the country move towards the freedom to marry, the sisters have a renewed hope in their hearts that, soon, their state will rule on the right side of history, too. As they say in the video below: "Our country is closer to full equality than we’ve ever been, but close isn’t good enough."