My partner, Lee Neubecker, and I adopted our two children, Michael, 9, and Braiden, 10, in 2009. Since they have two dads, both kids have been following the issue of marriage equality.
Braiden literally screamed out "Yes!" when she heard President Obama mention in his inaugural address that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. It brought a tear to my eye and at that moment I thought I should help her get her message out to those who can help our family gain equality in Illinois.
As our House Representatives reflect on their current positions concerning marriage equality, I hope they keep in mind that there are thousands of children involved in this issue whose families are not treated equally under the law. These children don't understand why the government refuses to allow their parents to marry. They don't understand what a "civil union" is. They do understand fairness.
These children want, and deserve, to have their parents be allowed to get married. As our pastor noted two weeks ago when Braiden's letter was read to the entire congregation, "Sometimes kids can understand some really important things better than adults do."
A daughter's plea
Love is important! It doesn't matter who people love, as long as they are happy. Everyone should have the right to marry who he or she wants. You may not like two men being married, but for them, it's normal.
My two dads should be able to be married and have the same rights as any married couple. How would you feel if you couldn't marry someone just because the government said you weren't allowed to? If I loved someone and wasn't allowed to marry them, I would be really sad. My family has taught me that even if you don't agree with someone, you should still be kind and respectful. The government should too. Also, my church tells me that you should treat other people the way you want to be treated.
My dads are unique. We do lots of silly things like having hot cocoa every single time it snows. Every summer we go to the same place in Florida with one dad's whole family. Our family knows how to have fun. We do lots of road trips. Also, we have gone on cruises. I really enjoy traveling with my dads. It is very fun. One of my favorite things to do as a family is family game night. I love this family and I love every single thing we do as a family.
Before I lived with my two dads, my life was horrible. My old family never treated me well. They wouldn't stand up for me. If my foster sister fought with me, my old mom would just sit there and watch me get hurt, so I would have to fight back. Each time I was at foster home, the foster parents promised me they would keep me safe and treat my brother and me equally. But they always broke their promise.
I moved five times until my dad and daddy found me. They also promised that they would always love me and keep me safe and they would treat me equal to my brother. I was four when I met them. Now I am 10 and they have kept their promises. They do so much for me. They never hurt me or my brother. I feel so safe. I believe I can do anything with my two dads.
Would there be any purpose to ban the marriage of two men or two women when they can treat children the same or even better than other couples? I hope that you will do the right thing and let anyone marry who they want to.