by Christy Berghoff and Victoria Kidd
VA Marriage Berghoff-Kidd_family2There is a natural and sincere completeness to our family. Christy and I know that nothing is missing. We know that nothing is unintended.
Two moms plus one beautiful, bouncing baby girl is the equation of happiness for us. And it's a happiness that is so complete and perfect that we know our family, and the love that has built it, is worth fighting for. We know too that we are not unique in that completeness, and we are humbled and honored to represent a class of similarly situated families for whom marriage equality is important.
As we head to Richmond for the oral arguments that will be heard before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, we are focused on why this case—and why securing marriage equality for the class represented—matters. When we speak about marriage equality, we often focus on the overarching ways that it impacts our families.
Certainly gaining legal protections and equal treatment for things like taxes, benefits, and hospital visitation for our families is of principal concern. However, the practical and “real world” implications that marriage equality has on our families cannot be overlooked.
We know that sharing our stories with the public and presenting the case for marriage equality before the court helps to start dialogues in communities across the Commonwealth. We know that these dialogues have helped our neighbors understand that we are all much more alike than we are different in that we want the same things for our families as those around us want for theirs. We want to create happy, loving environments within which our children can thrive. We want to share our values with our children by demonstrating that love, commitment, and marriage are important and are intrinsically linked. We want to protect our spouses and our children in the event of unforeseen occurrences because our families are equivalently built on love and commitment.
For us, a positive outcome in this case secures essential protections for our daughter while simultaneously laying the foundation for increased understanding that marriage equality is, at its very core, an issue that is about love and about the liberty to be committed to the person you cannot live without.
Put simply, a positive outcome is one where love wins, and it is for that simple and humble triumph that we eagerly await.