The Couple

Been Wondering....?
  • How did we meet?

    Seattle, September 4, 2004

    Molly's Version
    Laurie and I met at a soccer tournament. Laurie was a player from Portland, and I was a spectator from Seattle. I didn't want to go to at all, but a friend convinced me it would be entertaining. Laurie definitely caught my eye - she was clearly the player having the most fun!  We ran into each other that night and soon found ourselves spending the next year driving between Seattle and Portland to build a lasting relationship. After a year of long-distance dating, Laurie bravely moved to Seattle so that we could be together.

    Laurie's Version
    Who says you can't meet a nice girl in a bar?

    When Molly introduced herself on the dance floor I thought I was just a lucky girl from out of town. How could I turn down a personal tour from such a cute local? After sharing an omelet and the Sunday paper, I devised a plan that would put us back in the same city as soon as possible. This picture was taken the very next weekend - our first real date. We spent the next year driving between Seattle and Portland with our dogs in the passenger seats praying for light traffic and no state patrol. In July 2005, I moved to Seattle to finally spend my weekdays with the love of my life.

    Added on Sun, Dec 2nd 2007

  • Was there a proposal?

    Portland, September 1, 2007

    I proposed to Laurie on our 3-year anniversary at the Opening Ceremonies of same soccer tournament where we met - Festival of the Babes.

    To pull it off, I suggested to Laurie that we gather up a team and play in the tournament... mind you I don't actually play soccer :-). Once we pulled together a team, a theme (Chicks Ahoy!), and some practices – we were ready to go.

    During the Opening Ceremonies couples who met at FOB are asked to come forward to tell the crowd of hundreds of people how many years ago they met. It was arranged that Laurie and I would be last in line....

    When it was our turn, I told the crowd a bit of our history, got down on one knee, had the ring thrown to me from the crowd (in a cute little treasure chest), and asked her to marry me. When Laurie said yes - the DJ cued up our song, and the organizers dished out dozens of bottles of Champaign for each of the teams to celebrate with! It was a surprise to everyone - even our teammates!

    Luckily, a friend captured the proposal on her camera, and it was posted on YouTube!

    To hear the video, pause the music in the lower left corner (on the frame) of this site.

    Added on Sun, Feb 3rd 2008

  • What's that look on Laurie's face?

    "What the heck is going on?"

    As Molly already described, the tradition at the opening ceremonies is for couples who met at previous tournaments to stand and announce how many years they have been together. It usually sounds something like this: "Hi, my name is _____ and this is _____, we met ______ years ago at FOB." Everyone cheers and the microphone is passed to the next couple.

    That's how it went until Molly got the mic. You can imagine my suprise when she started talking, and kept talking. The only thing going through my head was, "What are you doing? This isn't story time. Pass the friggin' mic."

    It wasn't until she got down on one knee and the ring came flying from the crowd that I had the slightest idea what was going on. I didn't even think to say, "yes" until the emcee put the mic in front of me.

    That look on my face is pure suprise. Thanks Tara for catching it all on video. I barely absorbed any of it as it was happening!

    Added on Sun, Feb 10th 2008

  • Can we see the ring?

    I wanted to get Laurie something special to mark our engagement; however, Laurie didn't strike me as the engagement ring type. So, I searched and searched until I found the right right-hand ring :-). Needless to say, I found this one, loved it - got it engraved and now it's Laurie's.

    We are now in the process of customizing our wedding rings..... stay tuned!

    You can click on this photo, or any photo on this site, for a better view.

    Added on Fri, Dec 14th 2007

  • Who designed this SWEET website?

    All thanks go to Nearlyweds.com. We just added the content....the cost was $35 to have this site up for two years - can't beat that!

    Added on Sat, Feb 9th 2008

  • Is it legal?

    Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.

    When I told my father I was going to propose to Laurie, one of his first, caring thought was, "Is it legal?" Jokingly, I said, "Well, it's not illegal." This was Laurie's mom's first question too.... So, for all of you curious - here is a little education on Marriage Equality....

    marriage equality

    This adorable picture is of Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon who, after more than 50 years together, were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in the United States on February 12, 2004. It happened in San Francisco when the City's Mayor, Gavin Newsom, declared that it was an unconstitutional discrimination not to allow same-sex couples the right to marry.

    Sadly, six months later, California State Supreme Court ruled that Mayor Newsom did not have the power to change the laws about marriage and declared that the more than 4,000 marriage licenses given to same-sex couples who stood in line for hours and days order were null and void.

    "Del is 83 years old and I am 79. After being together for more than 50 years, it is a terrible blow to have the rights and protections of marriage taken away from us. At our age, we do not have the luxury of time."

    Phyllis Lyon

    Their day did come, however, and they were married again on June 16, 2008, after the California Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage legal. Once again they were the first couple married in San Francisco, in fact the only couple married that day by the mayor. Just two months later, on August 27, 2008, Del Martin died from complications of an arm bone fracture.

    So, is it legal for you to get married in the US?

    No. With the passage of the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, marriage was explicitly defined as a union of one man and one woman for the purposes of federal law.

    What does that mean?
    It means that although 12 states offer some rights to same-sex couples, there are 1138 federal rights that are denied to non-legally married couples. Without equal rights and privileges, the message is sent that gay and lesbian people are second-class citizens.

    1138 Federal rights denied?
    Yes, and because they are federal rights, not even lawyer-drawn documents can help with many. Some of these rights include:

    • Hospital visitation. We can be denied the right to visit each other in the hospital.
    • Social Security benefits. Even though we’ve paid into Social Security, we won’t receive Social Security survivor benefits if one of us dies – resulting in an average annual income loss of $5,528.
    • Estate taxes. This one really gets me….A gay or lesbian taxpayer is forced to pay estate taxes on property inherited from a deceased partner. So, if Laurie died, I would ‘inherit’ half of the property I already own and pay taxes on the appreciation of that property. If I couldn’t afford to pay, I could loose my own house.
    • Health insurance. Any health insurance received through a partners empoyeer is treated as income and thus is subject to federal income taxes on the value of the insurance .
    • Retirement savings. A gay or lesbian American who inherits a 401(k) from a partner can end up paying up to 70 percent of it in taxes and penalties.
    • Spousal Privilege. Legally married couples are protected by the courts on any/all contents of confidential communications made during marriage. Plus, courts cannot force husbands and wives to testify against each other. These rights are not available to gay and lesbian couples.
    • Family leave. Gay and lesbian workers are not entitled to family leave to care for their partners.
    • Immigration rights. U.S. immigration law does not permit American citizens to petition for their same-sex partners to immigrate.
    • Nursing homes. Because they are not legal spouses, elderly gay or lesbian couples do not have the right to spend their last days living together in the same nursing home.
    • Home protection. Laws protect married seniors from being forced to sell their homes to pay high nursing home bills; gay and lesbian seniors have no such protection.
    • Pensions. After the death of a worker, most pension plans pay survivor benefits only to a legal spouse of the participant. Gay and lesbian partners are excluded from such pension benefits.
    • Without the tax breaks awarded to legally married couples, we will also pay higher taxes.

    Aren’t domestic partnerships or civil unions good enough?
    Domestic partnerships and civil unions can provide up to ¼ of the rights that legally married couples have in their own state. On one hand, that’s great – on the other, our country has proved that separate is not equal. It is not about semantics, it is about equal rights.

    Until 2004, same-sex couples couldn’t wed anywhere in the country. Now, gay marriage is legal in 6 states (MA, CY, IA, VT, ME & NH), domestic partnerships and civil unions are accepted in 6 states (CA, HI, NV, NJ, OR, and WA), and same-sex marriages are recognized in 3 states (NY, NJ and RI). This is great news; however, the above state protections do not cross state lines, and they do not include the 1138 federal rights being denied (see list above). Such additional forms of recognition are no substitute for the equal right to marry.

    Should marriage equality wait until the majority supports it?
    Molly says – no way Jose! Basic civil rights and liberties are not popularity contests. If we waited for a majority vote on banning slavery, a woman’s right to vote, integrating the military, and interracial marriages who knows how long it would have taken to achieve those basic human rights?

    The court systems (i.e., the Constitution and the Bill of Rights) are designed to protect the civil rights and liberties of minorities. Due to political voting, twenty-nine states have adopted amendments to their state constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, and another twenty states have enacted statutory DOMAs. For the first time in our country’s history, we are writing discrimination into the constitution in the form of marriage laws.

    All people should have the freedom to marry the person they love. The Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection and the right to marry belongs to us all. The choice of a marriage partner belongs to the committed couple, not to politicians or pressure groups.

    Is there anything to celebrate here?
    Yes, there are 5 countries in the world where gays and lesbians can get married...

    1. Netherlands (2001)
    2. Belgium (2003).
    3. Canada (2005)
    4. Spain (2005).
    5. South Africa (2006).

    ...and Laurie and I have faith we will be able to legally wed in the US in our lifetime!

    What can I do?

    1. Urge your members of Congress to oppose the Marriage Protection Amendment, or any constitutional amendment to ban marriage for same-sex couples.
    2. Visit www.hrc.org and click on "Take Action."
    3. Sign the Million for Marriage petition at www.millionformarriage.org
    4. Ask 10 friends and family members to do the same.
    5. Talk to your friends and family members about the importance of marriage for same-sex couples and their children.
    6. Interrupt conversations, jokes, or side comments that promote discrimination of any kind.
    7. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper saying why you support marriage equality for all people and why a constitutional amendment against it is a bad idea.
    8. Vote for fair-minded candidates and judges
    9. Next time you hear someone say marriage is only meant for heterosexual couples, speak up. If you hear this on a radio program, call in. If you hear it on TV, call or send an e-mail. If it comes up in conversation, set the record straight.
    10. Give financially to organizations supporting equal rights for all of us.

    American Civil Liberties Union

    Human Rights Campaign

    Added on Mon, Dec 10th 2007

  • More thoughts on marriage equality....

    (yes, it's getting political)

    Please donate to support No On California's Prop 8. I really can't stress enough how important donations are. At this point in the campaign, it’s all about the media buy, and that is very expensive in California. Your donation helps get ads like this on television:

    Ellen's emotional (and funny) take on things.....

    Added on Mon, Oct 27th 2008