Gabriel Blau, executive director of the Family Equality Council, speaks with TIME about what the same-sex marriage decision means for families with LGBTQ parents
By Kirsten Salyer
TIME: What do you think of the Supreme Court ruling Friday that made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states?
The Supreme Court made the right decision. It affirmed that all LGBTQ people are equal, that access to marriage is a constitutional right, and that our families deserve the protection and respect that all families deserve.
What does this mean for families of LGBTQ parents?
Around the country there are millions of Americans in families with LGBTQ parents. Before this decision, in 13 states, LGBTQ parents still could not get married. Today every couple has the opportunity to choose to get married if they want and to protect their children in a way that marriage can. One of the greatest things about this decision is that it provides a great deal of dignity to our families. Over and over we hear from children of LGBTQ parents of the lack of dignity and respect they often receive from people who treat their families as not real families because their parents aren’t married. Today that ends in this country once and for all.
What does this mean for you personally?
I’m sitting here in my office with my 7-year-old son. My husband and I were lucky enough to be married in New York in 2011. Our marriage is recognized in New York. But now across the country, our relationship is truly treated equally. And that’s an unbelieveable feeling. It gives me the confidence and security that I need to know that our son is protected—wherever we may go.
What would you like to see moving forward?
The Family Equality Council has a full family-values agenda, of which marriage equality is a key piece. Now that we have that, we can move forward on adoption rights. Marriage equality does not solve all our adoption issues. It does not solve the foster-care crisis. It does not solve family and medical leave. It certainly does not solve all the economic issues that our families face. There are common-sense steps that we can take to make sure this country lives up to its values and that our families are as strong as possible.
What’s the significance of this moment?
This took a huge amount of energy and effort from countless people. It has taken strategy and confidence; it’s taken smarts and sweat equity. We’re in a historic moment that we should celebrate. We should hold on to this moment and this feeling and remember that this is what this country can feel like every day. We can come together to make decisions to make this country a better place, for families, for children, for all who live here. That’s the power of our democracy. And I have sincere belief that we are going to take that energy forward in a positive way.
This interview was originally published on Time Magazine’s website at http://time.com/3937543/gay-marriage-decision-lgbtq-families/