Every year, Mother’s Day strikes a special chord with both of us. While it gives us a chance to celebrate our daughters, it also reminds us that our children are still unequal in the eyes of our government.
Our daughters, Catherine Pino and Ingrid Duran, have been together for close to a decade. They are an amazing Latina couple and both of us agree that they have found true love and the perfect partner. When we see the love and the commitment that they share, it is difficult for us to understand how their relationship could be considered less than any other. Yet, because of the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), their relationship cannot be recognized as a married couple by the federal government. And, as residents of Virginia, Catherine and Ingrid cannot get married or file their taxes together, despite being together for nearly a decade.
It’s particularly disappointing to see our daughters treated this way because we know how much they have contributed to our society over their careers. Our daughters are two of the top political minds in Washington, D.C., and they have spent decades dedicated to public service and to ensuring the Latino community is represented well in our democracy. Despite this, they remain second-class citizens because of who they are.
We were both surprised when our daughters came out to us years ago, but we accepted them, and will always accept them, for who they are. When we see Catherine and Ingrid together, we understand why they chose each other. The life they have built together is a true testament to their love. As parents, we want our children to have true love and to be their happiest selves, and for Catherine and Ingrid they have found that in each other.
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It breaks our hearts to imagine that they might not be able to be at each other’s hospital bedside in a time of illness and that they aren’t eligible for the same federal protections available to married couples. That they are seen as less than straight couples by our government is disheartening and we hope that the Supreme Court makes the right decision later
this spring by ending DOMA and discriminatory state bans on marriage rights for same-sex couples once and for all.
Every child deserves acceptance. As mothers we want this discrimination to end, and we believe all couples—gay or straight—should be accepted for who they are.
We couldn’t be prouder of Catherine and Ingrid and the impact that they have made in their own community and the Latino community as a whole. They’ve gone through life together, in spite of any hurdles that have come their way—and in the process, they have built a beautiful life with one another. The commitment and love they show each other daily is what marriage is all about.
This Mother’s Day weekend, we will continue our almost decade-long tradition of celebrating this great holiday together with our girls in Virginia and we look forward to what the future will bring for them and us alike.
The authors of this post are Delia Lopez and Mary Pino Hall