College freshman with same-sex parents challenges SCOTUS
This appeared in the e-newsletter of the high school where I worked before coming to China. So, I never had the pleasure of teaching or even meeting this young lady, who gave this speech on the steps of the Supreme Court building last month. It deserves wider exposure, so I’m reposting it in its entirety here.
I am a proud Kentuckian, a devoted Christian, a freshman at Stanford, and the outspoken daughter of two incredible moms. I hope that very soon, I will also be a maid of honor.
My name is Kinsey Morrison and I am honored to be here today representing the Family Equality Council as one of more than 6 million children of gay parents in this country. But I’m also angry that I need to be here. I am angry my family is still so invisible to the judges in our circuit and the voters in our state that this case had to go all the way to the Supreme Court. I am angry that every day, people use the same religion I love so dearly to justify hatred and discrimination against my family. I am angry that last week, my friend from Eastern Kentucky was brutally beaten by four coll ege classmates after they found out he is gay. And I am angry that even though much has changed since my parents were in college, too much has not.
My moms, Karen and Audrey, have been in a loving, committed relationship for 24 years and engaged for two decades. Yet there are those who fear they threaten the sanctity of marriage? They taught me the sanctity of marriage. They taught me to be courageous - and certainly proved their own courage when they taught me how to drive. They taught me the power of my voice, and also, the price of my silence.
Today, I refuse to be silent.
My sisters, Jillian and Teagan, and I know we have two parents who love us at our worst and help us become our best. They have taught us family values - conservative family values I would argue. They have nursed us through sickness, volunteered in our school classrooms, led our girl scout troops and coached our softball teams. They laughed with us through years of family game nights, and have gently broken the news that they are Santa Claus…and the Easter Bunny…and the Tooth Fairy. I have spent my entire life arguing that my parents are just as good as any others. The truth is, I think our country would be in a much better place if all parents - gay or straight - were as extraordinary as they are.
But because my moms are not even seen as ordinary, because they are treated as second-class citizens, my family is not protected under the law. When I was two days old, I was rushed back to the hospital after having a bad allergic reaction. The doctors refused to treat me for nearly an hour because the mom who brought me to them wasn’t listed on my birth certificate. Second-parent adoption is only one of more than a thousand rights my moms are denied because they cannot get married in Kentucky. The discrimination that causes would be unfathomable to any straight family, but it is the daily, terrifying, reality for many families like mine.
I am proud to live in a country where every morning, millions of children pledge allegiance to liberty and justice for all. I am sad that if those children are gay or have gay parents, they know we only mean liberty and justice for some. I am tired of feeling like we don’t count. I am tired of saying my parents are “as married as they can be.” I am tired of being proud of Kentucky, but knowing my state is not proud of me. And I am tired of seeing the pain in my moms’ eyes when they try to find the words to explain their relationship to other people - often people who do not understand and do not want to understand.
“My wife” needs no explanation.
The Supreme Court cannot decide whether or not I have a family. My moms, my sisters, and I…we have always been a family. What the justices can do is acknowledge that we are not invisible. That we are valued. That we count. They should know better than anyone that equality is a self-evident truth.
Victor Hugo said, “No power on Earth can resist an idea whose time has come.”
Today, it. is. time. Thank you.
Since I posted this, I found other information about this remarkable young woman.
This young lady is a 𠇍ragon slayer.”
The Louisville Courier-Journal profiled her in 2013 when she won a Youth Service Bell Award. They called her a dragon slayer.
This profile in her local newspaper gives more details. My former high school, an independent school, gave her a scholarship, because of the money her family incurred in caring for her.
She suffered from aplastic anemia, but it spontaneously went into remission. She has a website all about it.
We’ll be hearing more from Kinsey Morrison, mark my words.