family

Ladies & Quints: Introducing SuperMoms Nadia + Liz

A special note from Kersh: 
We are so proud to announce the arrival of two new supermom's to our team of bloggers: Nadia & Liz Harris! Nadia and Liz are parents to the fab 5, their Quintuplets (who just turned 3!) Read more about their journey to parenting quints here. 

Part 1: Ladies & Quints
by Nadia & Liz Harris 

Raising one 3 year old is challenging, add 4 more 3-year-olds, now that’s a challenge!

Three years ago on October 4, 2013, I gave birth to BBBBG quintuplets and it was the most magical day of my life. My wife, Liz, and I had always wanted to be parents.

Nadia & Liz with their Quints! ( Photo courtesy of Jane Feldman of NYC ). 

Nadia & Liz with their Quints! (Photo courtesy of Jane Feldman of NYC). 

When we first met, she made it known that she wanted to someday have children. Perfect, because I too, wanted children and wanted even more to carry and experience pregnancy through to the most beautiful part. Labor and delivery.

On June 20, 2008, I met and had lunch with the most beautiful and sexy woman I’ve ever met. She was charming, intelligent and shy, to say the least. I was intrigued and knew from that day, she would be the woman I would spend the rest of my life with. Five months later, we were living under the same roof; totally and utterly, madly in love.

In February, 2009, she proposed to me at an upscale restaurant in Midtown, Atlanta, where the table cloths were white, candles were lit throughout the space and the tables were topped with brown runner paper down it's center.

We had this thing whenever we went out to dinner (which was often in these times), we’d play hangman to pass the time as we waited for our orders. Liz works in HR and  (to release the stress of hospitality running through our blood). Liz works in HR and I, at the time, worked for an audio visual company. All in a day's work.

This night in particular was the night before Valentine’s Day. We got dressed up, valet parked, the mood was flawless and the atmosphere screamed, “Love is in the air.”

We walked into the restaurant and I was in awe. We ordered as usual and talked amongst ourselves. A few moments later, we decided it was time for a game of hangman. I cannot remember who went first but it was Liz’s turn. She drew out her lines and the post where the “man" would eventually, but hopefully not, be hung. As always in this game, you want to recognize how many words there will be. My wife, Liz, my girlfriend at the time, had chosen to create a 4-word-guess.  

A few go’s at it and a few letters later, my hand looked like this:

letters guessed: CTS

_ _ _ _

Y_O

M_RRY

ME

I looked up at her as she written in the last letter guessed (I cannot remember what that letter was) and said, in confusion, “Will you marry me???” Right as I said, “me,” her hands came from her pocket and she placed the most beautiful, princess tri-cut diamond ring on the table. I was stunned. Shocked. Happy. I held back my tears and smiled BIG and said, “YES!!!” We kissed and I just couldn’t believe it! My dream was coming true! I was floating in space yet still sitting in my chair.

We were  married in August of that year on a beach in faraway Connecticut. It was a rainy and cloudy day but ironically, it was the most beautiful kind of rainy day. The clouds were strung across the sky as if God had painted in many shades of blues, greys and ivories. Close family from three different states joined us and the next day, we headed down to city hall in New Haven,CT,  to collect our MARRIAGE LICENSE!

It was official. I had become Mrs. Nadia Harris. Well, I was still Dawson and because we didn’t live in the state of Connecticut (where same-sex marriage was recognized at that time), I had to go through the 90 day process of legally changing my name in the state of Georgia where we resided at the time. 

Four months later, on New Years eve, we had our first IUI (intrauterine insemination or artificial insemination) and we decided after a long talk that Liz would be the one to carry our first baby. Since she 3 years older and we knew we would eventually want more children, we decided that she would go. This would make for a great blended sibling mix and we were excited to have children that would be biologically connected to the both of us.

We found out a couple of weeks later that our plan had failed. We were devastated to say the least. We were certain that this would be a new beginning, a thrill, finally! we had each met and married our soul-mates and now it was time to throw a baby into the mix. We were sadly mistaken. We weren’t sure where to go from there but we knew that we would have to take a break a save a little more money.

We decided that from there on out, I would be the one to carry. After all, it has always been a dream of mine to conceive, carry and spend hours and hours in labor building up to seeing that precious face that I had created. Would it look like me? Have my smile? My eyes? My dark silky, hair??? This baby would be loved, wanted and created out of pure love. Created because two people desperately wanted to become parents. Two “untraditional” parents. And though we knew I would without a doubt be the biological parent, Liz would very much be the baby’s mom as well. She would also have her part in creating this child.

We went through a donor bank located in California by the name of Cryo Bank. Togetherwe searched and sifted through our “matched” donor criteria and profiles to find the “perfect” donor. Initially, we looked for a donor who was similar to Liz. At least we would have the possibility of creating a little human whom could possibly possess characteristics of her like - skin tone, height, athletic abilities, etc. And then, we found “him.” The one whom would eventually be “The Donor.”

He has music abilities, like those from my parental side, he’s athletic like Liz and very intelligent. He’s also tall…unlike Liz, we thought, well, we’ll just have extra tall children. Liz said she wouldn’t mind being the shortest Harris in the household. We’ll see if that remains true once they begin to tower her. I vow, though, never to make short jokes.

In spring of 2010, 3 months after our first IUI, we relocated from Atlanta, to New York City. Laying down our first relo together in the great burrow of the “Boggie-Down Bronx.” It was a great part of the Bronx. We were just blocks away from the legendary, Yankee Stadium and all was well. We began exploring the infamous, Big Apple, skipping along and ducking into secret places. Some known, others you just stumble upon. Winning free bar parties, drinking and eating with co-workers, shopping and embracing this new, fun and speedy life. 

My career had also taken off. I was a first time Director for a small Audio Visual company and i was elated. I had worked my way up the corporate ladder, no college degree, just intelligence, integrity and the will to set and obtain my own personal goals for success and ownership of my own destiny. Liz and I were on top of the world. She was a second time Assistant Director of Human Resources but one of the largest hotel in her company. We were on top of the world, living it up but, something was missing. We knew it was that baby we were planning.

We begin by researching fertility clinics. We wanted to seek a professional who was familiar with our kind of story and ready to just get to it. We found the NYC Fertility Clinic. Certainly with their credentials, we would have no problems getting pregnant right away.

Our initial visits were of a couple of counseling sessions. They wanted to be sure that we were ready, mentally ready to have children before we began anything. We thought at first, “who are they to tell us when WE’RE ready to start a family!?!?! Who the hell do “they” think “they” are?!?!? humf!” Ok, now that that was out of our systems, we figured, whatever, let’s do what we have to do to make this happen. Come to find out, we actually receive some good advice from them.

We were given some literature on how to talk with your children at different stages of their lives involving same-sex families and how explain to them where they came using age appropriate explanations. Fast-forwarding a bit, now that they’re here, we know now that we can take or leave some of that information obtained. Today is much different now than they were five years ago. We’ve also learned that all children are different in the way that they may perceive information given to them. In short, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Once, we were “approved” to begin our baby making journey, I had to go through a few tests and the doctor we worked with decided that I needed a little assistance in becoming pregnant. He prescribed me a fertility drug called Clomid. Three failed IUI’s and $10,000 dollars later, we were left feeling defeated, exhausted and disappointed ( or for a lack of better words, heartbroken). So, we decided to take a break, save more money and relieve ourselves of the toll that the whole process had flushed over us. It was tragic. We spent many nights asking why and questioning whether or not this was the right decision. I began to lose focus on my career becoming cloudy and mentally exhausted while in the office. Not achieving our ultimate goal of becoming Mom’s was the worst feeling I could ever imagine. Liz was totally supportive. We were to each other. We stayed busy and before we knew it, we were relocating to New Orleans.

Our relocation to New Orleans (A.K.A. NOLA - short for New Orleans, LA) happened in August 2011. Once we were settled and enjoying the new atmosphere of parades, festivals and southern comfort, we decided about 6 months later, we would begin trying once again. This time, we thought we would try at home in hopes we wouldn't get caught spending thousands of dollars only to have more failed attempts. I had a close friend that offered to “help” us out. Over a course of three months and 3 home inseminations, we were not pregnant. It was devastating to say the least. We were tired and ready and lost. Why??? Why wasn't this happening!?!?!

We decided it was time to reach out to the professionals and get this done. We talked to our OBGYN, alike, Dr. Stacey Holman, MD Assistant Professor of LSU Department of OBGYN, and she referred us to Dr. Peter Lu at the New Orleans Fertility Clinic. Once, we met with him, he ran a bunch of tests and found out that my body didn't ovulate. This was the trouble with me getting pregnant. During these tests, he also found that I had a few cysts , one the size of a golf ball, on the fallopian tubes. Before we could do anything, I had to take birth control in hopes that they would dissipate. He advised me if in any case, this wouldn't help, they would have to be surgical removed. I remember thinking to myself, “gosh! this is going to be a long process!!! I’m just ready to be a mom!” And…then I was afraid. Surgery? I’ve never been put under in my life. What is this. Well, I trusted in God, as I always do and Liz and I prayed.

It would be two weeks before we would know if the birth control would have worked and…it did! We were ready! Dr. Lu decided to try a medication called Follistim. I had to inject myself in the stomach for 9 days, at the same time everyday to ensure follicle growth. For those who aren't familiar with the anatomy of a woman, the follicle is where a woman’s eggs are grown and released before conception. Over the course of the week and a half that I had to inject myself, every other day I had to go into the office to monitor the follicle growth.

My follicles were growing at a slow rate yet, Liz and I remained optimistic. At the end of this process, I had 1 mature follicle (equivalent to one egg) and the very next day, I was to give myself a trigger shot to release the egg from the follicle. A day later, we would be ready to inseminate.

On the day of insemination, we had already ordered two vials of the donor sperm in the case we would have to try again the following month. Instead, we asked Dr. Lu if we could use both vials, one day after the first insemination. He knew of the struggle we had been through and probably could feel out desperation. He agreed and we inseminated in March 2013, one day and the next. This started our 2 week wait period.

Two weeks later, we showed up and I was given a pregnancy test and yet, we had to wait another two hours to find out. Our favorite mall in NOLA was just a couple of miles away so we set off to window shop in hopes we would get positive news. As we walked through the mall, we couldn't help but look through the windows of children shops and yet walk by with fear that we would yet again, be let down with news that again, we were not having a baby.

And then. My cell phone rang. It was Dr. Lu’s office. I answered and sat down at the nearest bench I could find. Liz stood in anticipation. The nurse immediately told me that I was pregnant! I was elated and relayed the news to Liz for I didn't have the call on speaker. She immediately called her mom (who at this time, lived with her sister in Connecticut). As she told her mom the great news, I was given the news that I was, “very pregnant. We are expecting multiples.” I’m like, “Wow!!!!” and the nurse advised me to take it easy, yada, yada, yada, and come in next week for an ultra sound. I hung up and told Liz verbatim what they nurse said. We thought, maybe we’d be having twins. My youngest sister had given birth to twins and currently (while I didn't know yet) my middle sister was also pregnant with twins.

One week later, April of 2013, we went in for the ultrasound. Nervous and excited to find out about our “twins” was exciting. They called me back and we were led to the back room. As the technician examined me, Liz and I never took eyes off one another. She then said, “well, I see 5 gestational sacs.” I replied in fear…”oh my gosh! Are the cysts back?!!?!?!” she replied, “No honey. That’s five babies.”

 

Part 2: Coming soon! 
 


Our hearts go out to Orlando

Friends & families near and far, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the grief and profound loss we have experienced in Orlando, Florida.

Today our hearts are heavy.  

In a month of celebration, a time for joyous reunions with old friends at pride celebrations across the country our foundation is shaken by tragedy.

Our love and our strength go out to those affected by this tragedy - near and far. From those who grew up in Florida, have family in Orlando, or may have lost friends and loved ones to this senseless act of violence and terror against our community.

We stand with you, wherever you may be, and we will not let our lights go out. Our strength will not recede, and our futures will not dim.

We will continue to celebrate our pride and our joy - our families and our future together. When we fought in June of 1969 at Stonewall it was only the beginning. We have fought, and will continue to fight for our rights, our liberties, and our pride --- no act of violence, fueled by hate or ignorance, will be able to dampen the progress and the beauty that our community has grown into over the last 40 - 50 years.

Stay strong friends. We will come out of this.

With love & support, 

Kersh 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
If anyone needs an ear to listen, or someone to talk through what you're feeling there are several numbers you can call to speak with an LGBTQ counsellor.

- From the GLBT National Help Center: 
http://www.glbthotline.org/

For adults the number is 1-888-843-4564
For kids *up to age 25 the number is: 1-800-246-7743

Remember to check in on each other! We are stronger TOGETHER! <3

Breaking News! The Pride & Joy Project in Oprah Magazine!

HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!

I'm super excited to announce that The Pride & Joy Project is featured in the May 2016 issue of O! The Oprah Magazine!!!

I've known for a few weeks now that we would be part of the Live Your Best Life Section - but nothing prepared me for the overwhelming thrill of opening up my mailbox today and finding an envelope from O! Magazine in NYC! Inside were two copies of the issue to keep - with our photo of Alia & Theresa's family right there, on page 35!!! 

I worked with the photo team at O! to pick out a great portrait for the feature and decided on this snapshot from Alia & Theresa's family portrait session

To have this kind of visibility in a mainstream publication is huge!!! I grew up watching Oprah with my Mom and my family - when I called my Mom to tell her about the feature she spent the first 3 minutes of the call screaming, and then quietly said, "Thank goodness I went to the bathroom before you called!!! OMG!" :D (If that's not the true mark of a Mom, I don't know what is!)

Check out our posts on facebook & instagram for more! You can find us on instagram with @prideandjoyproject (Click on the photo to be redirected to our facebook page): 

Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this possible! I can't tell you how humbled and proud I am to be a part of such a wonderful community of queer Mamas*, families, and new friends. 

Stay tuned for more news, blog posts, and family portrait galleries! :) 

With love, gratitude & so much thanks, 

x Kersh 

Beyond the destination, where does the journey to motherhood take us?

By Zoë Wilkinson Saldana - Contributing Blogger 

When The Pride & Joy Project contacted me to talk about possibly contributing to the blog, I was thrilled. I was also nervous. Here were photographs of queer women thriving as mothers, playing games and laughing and going on walks, giving love in the little gestures and expressions of everyday life. And here I was, a queer trans woman in my mid-twenties still establishing myself in Seattle and in the world. I am nowhere near that point in life where I could start pragmatically planning to adopt a child, let alone share in the hugs and frustrations and joys of a parent’s everyday life. I thought about how many steps there are between here and there, and how many things are opaque to me.

I also felt at home. Seeing those scenes of queer folks giving their absolute most to children felt like an invitation into that fabric of queer motherhood. I wanted to understand my place in that fabric, and to extend that belonging to others.

In November 2015, Buzzfeed LGBT published an essay I wrote about my path to trans motherhood, in which I expressed how difficult it can be for trans women to feel included in the continuity of motherhood and find models of what their path to motherhood might look like:

Generations of women — women who could not conceive; women who were queer or part of nontraditional partnerships; women who adopted alone late in life; women who were marginalized by poverty and white supremacy and then judged by society as incapable of showing children stability; women who were for a million reasons considered the wrong kind of woman — have been spectacular mothers. I know that countless trans women must number their ranks.

But I still struggle to find stories that shed light on the kind of mother I hope to one day be. I’m still learning what to expect in negotiating the adoption agency, the benefits coordinator in HR, and even the judgmental parents of my future kid’s classmates. I’m looking for possibility models of trans women who take on motherhood and bring something beautiful, and stable, to a child’s life.

After I put these words out there, I was moved by the responses of other trans women. In their own questions and vlogs and essays, my peers expressed this sense of self-efficacy - the conviction that, yes, we can make motherhood a reality, and that we can surmount any barriers that come our way on the path to becoming spectacular parents. I wrote about my struggle to find that strength, and in the act of writing I found it almost immediately, all around me. That strength was profoundly encouraging, and it encouraged me to say yes when Betsy reached out to me about blogging.

If I hope to contribute anything to this blog, it’s to send a beacon out there for others who have walked similar paths and are striving for similar goals. By sharing possibility models of what it means to be a mother, we can widen the space of motherhood to include the folks who have been marginalized and excluded from the role of parent, and yet have so much love to give to children. There is so much we can learn from each other. We may never have met, but I want you to be part of this space, too. (Yes, you!)

I am eager to figure out what it means to build community around the dream of motherhood as a trans woman, even if I don’t know exactly where this journey will take me. As my childhood friend Louis likes to quote, “not all who wander are lost.” Here’s to more wandering!

 

On the Road: Travel Awaits

Hello friends & families! 

#PrideandJoyProject #RoadTrip!

This Tuesday is no ordinary day. Today is #GivingTuesday where we are asking for donations to help take The Pride & Joy Project on the road. Our goal is to travel to one, new West Coast city in January or February of 2016. In time we hope to include even more cities all around the globe. 

The cities we're considering next are: Portland, San Diego, and Los Angeles! 

 
 

Each donation made will help to cover the costs of travel to our next featured city & guarantee that we are able to share more stories. Sharing our stories creates a strong, vibrant community of queer Moms & families. We'd love to have your support! To make a contribution click here: 

DONATE TODAY! 

In the past year we've photographed nearly 30 families and our portraits have been viewed in over 15 countries worldwide! Tis the season for giving, sharing & loving! If you have any questions at all please send us an email. Thank you thank you thank you! 


Blogpost # 13: My Coming Out Story for National Coming Out Day!

Hello everyone! 

Today is a very important day. Today is National Coming Out Day.

Before I tell my story, let's go back in time and review a little history of how Coming Out Day began. 

National Coming Out Day (NCOD) is an annual civil awareness day observed on October 11th. The date of October 11th was chosen since it was the anniversary of the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights (pictured below). 

A photo from the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian &amp; Gay Rights.&nbsp;

A photo from the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian & Gay Rights. 

More than 750,000 people were in attendance on October 11th, 1987. Posters distributed read "come out, come out, wherever you are!" with the date emblazoned in bold beneath it. 

Founded in 1988, in the feminist and gay liberation spirit of the personal being political, the emphasis is that the most basic form of activism is coming out to family, friends and colleagues, and living life as an openly lesbian or gay person. 

The foundational belief is that homophobia thrives in an atmosphere of silence and ignorance, and that once people know that they have loved ones who are lesbian or gay, they are far less likely to maintain homophobic or oppressive views. The process of coming out involves self-disclosure of one's sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

My Coming Out Story: 

When I came out, I was 15. I had known my entire life that I was different but had no awareness or way of defining what it meant to be LGBTQ. It wasn't until high school that I finally had a true understanding of what it meant to be a lesbian.

In 1st grade I got in trouble for kissing a red-head girl on the playground. 

In 4th grade I had a crush on my gym teacher. She taught me how to throw from the 3 point line on the basketball court. She played basketball, volleyball, and soccer and wore collared shirts with shorts. I remember thinking that she could do anything. 

In 5th grade I moved from my old house to a new one. That also meant a new school, new life, and boys. Before the move I had been learning & exploring life at an all girls school in Philadelphia. I was happy, I was immersed in an empowering, female led & focused school so the switch to a public school...with boys...was devastating and very, very confusing. 

In 6th and 7th grade I tried my best to pretend I had feelings for a boy and tried to convince others that he had feelings for me, too. No such luck. 

In 8th grade I joined stage crew. Thus I began a long relationship with musicals, theater, and the big rainbow network that is everything & all things Broadway. I was and am forever changed from that one spontaneous choice to put my name down on the list to help strike the set. 

By the winter of 8th grade I had began to experience my first ever crush. It struck me like a bolt of lightning. A few of us were waiting for rehearsal to be over. I watched her sing, practice her scenes onstage with the rest of the cast, and out of nowhere - I felt it. In an instant, it was like a lightswitch had been turned on. I knew instantly that I was attracted to her but had no idea what to do about it or how to define it. Before I could figure it out I was moving again, to another house, and yes, another school. 

In 9th grade, after switching school districts & houses twice, I was beginning to feel a bit worn out. I had only just experienced an attraction to another woman. What was I to do now? Who would I confide in about this new discovery? Who could I trust? 

One of the first friends I made in 9th grade came out to me as bisexual. I was thrilled! She had a boyfriend but she had always liked girls, too. Our friendship was fast and we shared everything on folded notes written in gel pens. We passed notes to each other during our shared classes. Always griping about this exam or that assignment. A few months later we went on a choir trip to Toronto. As part of the trip we visited several museums, historical sites, and a planetarium. She chose to come with me to the planetarium. We held hands inside the planetarium.

That brief moment, as we passed through the dark room, our hands together, our hearts racing, was exhilarating. I remember wishing that the moment could have lasted forever. When we returned from the choir trip I told her about how I had felt holding her hand. That I respected her boyfriend but needed her to know my feelings regardless of whatever may happen. She told me she needed some space and shortly after that she stopped speaking to me. Our friendship faded away by the end of the year. I was heartbroken.

In 10th grade I started dating my first girlfriend. We met at a homecoming football game. She wore a rainbow pin on her jacket which immediately signaled an opportunity for conversation. Within a few days we were spending all our time together. We ended up dating until February of my Senior year -- my first real relationship. The breakup had been on the horizon for a while. Each of our families had been having their own issues - I was trying to choose where to apply for college. We simply grew apart. No one was at fault but it still felt like a huge loss. 

It wasn't until I went off to New York City for college that I really was able to have enough time to sit down with myself and think about who I was becoming. I cut my hair. Not super short at first but just above the shoulders. It was okay but it wasn't perfect. I cut my hair a second, and a third time until I finally had it the way I wanted it. 

With a fresh haircut and the entirety of New York City as my playground to explore, experience, and learn from I let myself get swept away by the energy and the excitement that ultimately made me who I am today. I spent all my time in Central Park. Downtown. Midtown. Uptown. Brooklyn. Outside all the time. Only coming home at night to sleep or shower. I often stayed awake all night to watch the sunrise over the city. It was glorious. I fell in love with the city and with several women during my time there. Each of whom taught me how to love, how to advocate for yourself, and most of all to be passionate about who you are at your core. In a short time I found myself working as a photographer at a lesbian magazine. It jumpstarted my career as a photographer and gave me the most exclusive insights into life, lesbianism, and the city. 

I met my wife in April of 2009. We spent the following months flying back and forth to be with each other. May, June, July, August - all the while we were falling in love. By September, I was moving to San Francisco. I took a huge risk on her and have been here ever since. The risk paid off and we got married in 2012 and then again at SF City Hall in 2013. 

Whenever I think about my coming out story it feels tremendously overwhelming because I simply can't decide how to tell the story in a short, brief way. There are always more stories that I am reminded of, more memories than I can include, and in some ways, it still hurts to think about when I was a young girl and felt so afraid of being myself. 

Today I'm grateful for the vibrant community of queer women & men that are in my life. I'm grateful for their stories, their trust, and their existence. I hope that this video will inspire others to share their story and come out (if they haven't already)! 

Without further ado here's the video I put together today with my wife, Toby: 

With love & gratitude, 

Betsy 

Blogpost #12: A Bicycle Built for Two!

Happy September everyone! We can't believe that next month we'll be celebrating our 1-Year Prideaversary! That's right - not just any anniversary but a PRIDEaversary! The Pride & Joy Project has grown so much over the past 11 months.

Over 20 families have been photographed, we've received hundreds of emails in support with stories, photos, wishes, hopes, and dreams - and we've seen so many beautiful announcements of pregnancies & births! Thank you to every family who has been involved, written, or participated in any capacity. To every mother - every wife & wife, to each one of the Moms & Mama's or Oma's & Babas. Thank you for you. It has been such an honor to be invited into your lives to share an afternoon with you & have an opportunity to create images of joy, laughter, and most of all love. 

I can't begin to tell you how important these portraits are to me - they are game changing. They have given me a sharper focus on my own photography work (separate from this series), helped me articulate my own discoveries about motherhood to my wife & our community, and they have created bridges to the most amazing people and connections all over the world. 

One of the connections that has inspired many and provided a beacon of visibility for lesbian, bisexual, and queer women all over is the one and only website A Bicycle Built for Two. I first heard of ABBFT about two years ago when I was really starting to get into wedding photography - specifically wedding photography for the queer community. 


A Bicycle Built for Two is a LBTQ wedding and engagement blog dedicated to serving as a resource for and celebration of love in the queer community. We strive to show the world an increasingly diverse group of women and gender non-conforming people from a variety of racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, increasing visibility and celebrating love for the benefit of people the world over.  

You can see more of their incredible work on their website - it's a treasure trove of beautiful images, stories, and heart-warming moments! Stay tuned for more news next week! x Betsy & Toby


Love Wins: Marriage Equality for All

Good morning everyone! Happy Friday, Happy Pride! 

Many of us are starting off the weekend celebrating pride - but nothing can top the most incredible news this morning that the United States Supreme Court ruled IN FAVOR of marriage equality 5-4 today! That means all 50 states will soon offer marriage equality for all! Wow! What a historic day this is, what an incredible, momentous occasion! 

Here's a roundup of the news coverage so far: 

The Gay Marriage Map via Slate

Marriage Equality lawyer and changemaker Mary Bonauto speaking to the crowd this morning. 

"Not only are you a great example for many people but you brought about a lasting change for this country, I couldn't be more proud of you and your husband" - Obama on the phone to Jim Obergefell. (Click on the image above to watch the full video clip, via CNN). 

President Obama's entire speech from the Rose Garden at the White House: 

The best quote from Obama: 

"The progress on this journey comes in small increments sometimes two steps forward one step back propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens and then sometimes there are days like this when that slow steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt. This morning the supreme court recognized that the constitution guarantees marriage equality and in doing so they have reaffirmed that all Americans are entitled to the equal protection of the law. That all people should be treated equally regardless of who they are or who they love."

The New York Times: Gay Marriage Backers Win Supreme Court Victory

Extra: Video of Jubilation Outside Supreme Court 

YouTube created a beautiful video with the hashtag #ProudtoLove - watch it here: 

We'll post more later today when the news has time to catch up!

For now let's all celebrate safely and with those we love! Happy Pride everyone! 





Blogpost #7: Overview The U.S. Supreme Court, Obergefell v. Hodges

Today The United States Supreme Court heard 2.5 hours of oral arguments from both sides in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges. Two questions were posed before the court: 

1. Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
 
2.Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

During the first half of the debate references were made to Loving v. Virginia case of interracial marriage and also to Edie Windsor's groundbreaking case against DOMA in 2013. Those who were interested in being a part of the live coverage could read along to a live feed of comments from lawyers on SCOTUSblog. 

The following links will let you listen to, download, or read the audio or text transcript from today: 

Question 1: Audio (MAC & PC format available). 

Question 1: Transcript (PDF view, with the option to download). 

 - - - 

Question 2: Audio (MAC & PC format available). 

Question 2: Transcript (PDF view, with the option to download). 

For more in-depth coverage visit: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg Politics, MSNBC, POLITICOThe Huffington Post, LA Times, BuzzFeed, LGBTQ Nation, and Slate

Official rulings regarding same-sex marriage will not be made until June.