Till Court Do Us Part 

Six tales of marital bliss and cruel disappointment.

Page 8 of 9

Sallyanne: ... socks, gloves ...

Mickey: ... because it was pouring rain. Just taking care of us.

Alyssa: It was an amazing experience. I mean, I did my share of complaining about the hours and the rain, but once you were inside City Hall -- wading through more lines -- you were getting closer and closer to the room where they were marrying everyone, it was really exciting. It was really personal, but you were sharing it with so many other people. It was one of those breaking points in history.

Did it change your relationship?

Frank: It was more like they were doing it more to help out the community. It didn't really change their marriage, or make them more married than they were before.

Mickey: We really did originally go there on behalf of the community: Here's another couple who needs to take a stand to get married. But we experienced something that we were really surprised at during the course of the ceremony. Certainly we felt that deep and abiding love that you know when you're looking into your partner's eyes and say "I'm committing my life to you forever."

Sallyanne: And we embraced the words. We really stayed away from the conventional marriage words in our commitment ceremony. We thought that we did it because we wanted something different and we don't need those words. Now I think that was just our emotional self finding a way for us to deal with the fact that they weren't our words to say. Having the right to say them was amazing. We'd thought, oh, how personal could getting married at City Hall be? But it was the most amazing experience I think that we've ever had as a couple. There were hundreds of people on the steps, and when we walked out after getting married they were handing us sparkling apple cider and throwing rice, and for every one of those couples who walked down, there were cheers of nothing but goodwill. If City Hall could have glowed that day, they could have seen the glow of the rotunda from space.

Have you discussed legal issues as a family?

Frank: We had a discussion about it once, and they told us all the stuff that would happen with money if one of them died and how we have no right to anything of Mickey's at all. It was kind of scary.

Mickey: If their mom should die, I don't have any rights to them and they don't have any rights to me. If their father didn't want them to be with me, he could remove them until they were eighteen. That was scary for all of us. I mean, I'm the one who makes all the medical appointments, makes all the dental appointments, gets them to take PSAT tests for college, looks out for their future. Who would do that for them if I was gone?

What was your reaction to the court ruling?

Mickey: We feel that we had something that was truly taken away from us. We're more committed to our community to continue to fight to have equal rights.

Alyssa: When those four thousand couples were married it was like a big stepping-stone for them. To give it to them and then take it away is just wrong. I think that it really got their hopes up, and the fact that the Supreme Court could just take that away is just ... I don't think that they quite understand. Every time I pick up the newspaper it always seems like the argument's something religious, or that "the family's not fit." The leaders of our country don't look at the people they're judging and see that they're just a normal family who want to raise children or be together. That's just disheartening.

What's next for your family?

Sallyanne: A really important thing is that we just try to be us. Because the image of us is no different than the image of the family directly across the street that has two parents, four kids, two dogs, a bunch of cars, some jobs. They water their lawn; we water ours. Their lights go on when it gets dark; so do ours. It's no different.

Mickey: And we don't want to be invisible. Lesbians like us who live in suburbia could be the invisible gay families.

Alyssa: In my school, I've met kids whose parents are gay, too. It's open. No one's like, "Oh, your mom is gay, that's weird." I know kids who are gay ... my brother knows kids who are and he was just in middle school. These kids are going to be our future, and hopefully a lot more kids are like that around the country.

Frank: I remember when Mickey and my mom first got together how quiet I was about it. I never told anyone. But now it feels so much different. It's just completely changed a lot and I think it's just becoming more normal.

Mickey: Frank, you said the other day that your friends called you "the poster child for lesbian moms."

Frank: It felt strange -- because I'd gotten so much publicity that my mothers are gay that people are paying attention to it more. That kind of bugged me.

Mickey: I think we prefer to think of ourselves as "the poster family for equality."

Sallyanne: We framed a photograph, which is in our TV room, of us and the kids. What is perverse about what you see there? There are two kids who graduated from high school, there are our other two kids, and there are two happy women. If people looked at that, they couldn't say it was disgusting. They'd say they wanted it, and they wished they had it.


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