VIDEO: Two Southern mothers build their family without the protections of marriage

It's been a historic few weeks for the freedom to marry - but we haven't won nationwide yet. In 18 states, same-sex couples continue to be denied the freedom to marry, and they continue to face discrimination for their legal marriages. That's why it's so critical - that we push harder than ever to keep up the momentum for marriage and share stories of real families hurt by marriage discrimination.

In a new Freedom to Marry video, Jessica and Chi from Alabama share their story of building their lives with their 7-year-old daughter. The women got married in Connecticut earlier this year, but because Alabama is one of the 18 states that still denies the freedom to marry to same-sex couples, their marriage is not respected in their home state.

"Everyone wants to believe that if you do what you're supposed to do, your family will be taken care of. But we don't have that safeguard - that every child can feel good about the home they come from. Isn't that what matters? I don't think that's who we are as Southerners."

This year, Freedom to Marry has been working to amplify and grow support for marriage and create the climate for pro-marriage court rulings across the South through our Southerners for the Freedom to Marry campaign, a robust partnership with 16 state and regional organizations committed to winning the freedom to marry. 

"Every American in every state should have the freedom to marry," Jessica says in the video. And until that dream is a reality, we're going to keep fighting and elevating the voices of amazing families like Jessica, Chi, and their daughter Nailah.

Watch the video above, and click here to share it.