Houston Mayor Annise Parker on Friday
provided powerful testimony on what marriage means to gay and lesbian
The openly lesbian Parker is one of
the more than 75 mayors joining the nascent group Mayors for the
Freedom to Marry.
Mayors involved will lobby state
lawmakers to approve marriage equality legislation and call on
Congressional representatives to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act
(DOMA), which bars federal agencies from recognizing the legal
marriages of gay and lesbian couples.
At a press conference held at the 80th
annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C., Parker became
emotional as she described the hurdles she and her partner, Kathy
Hubbard, had to face without the protections of marriage.
“On Monday, my life partner and I
celebrated 21 years together. We have a 35-year-old son who was 16
and living on the streets of Houston when he came to our home,
because he had been thrown out of his family. We have two adopted
daughters, who are now 16 and 21, that we adopted after they spent
five years in foster care in the state of Texas. We have had to
navigate insurance challenges and custody challenges. One simple
change would have made a tremendous difference in the lives of my
family and truly the lives of millions of Americans,” Parker told
reporters. (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.
our video library for more videos.)