Lesbian Moms in Conservative Alabama

April and Ginger Aaron-Brush share what life is like as a lesbian couple in Alabama, their decision to remain in a conservative city, and the process of adopting their daughter, Avery.

AIRED: June 12, 2020 | 0:03:02

- [Short Haired Woman] Hi there!

- Hi! - [Long Haired Woman] Hi!

- Oh my, she could do that all day.

- I don't know if I could do that to save my life.

- I can't that's definite, I lie.

- Are you from here?

How long have you lived here?

- We were all born in Alabama.

- And you've been together how many years?

- 21, is that right?

- Almost 22.

- [Male Interviewer] So what's it been like

being a lesbian couple in Alabama?

- We live actually in a very conservative city

and our little suburb is very conservative.

We though about leaving where it was somewhere easier

and then we decided instead of making it easier on ourselves

why don't we try to make the change

to make the place better.

Then I just felt like maybe if we stayed and worked

in the community and we showed the community that we are

just your average normal family that it might make

a little bit of change.

- It would help people be more tolerant and accepting.

- It's not any easier on us, I wouldn't say.

Well we don't hide who we are, I mean the community

knows we're here, we're not going anywhere and I guess

after all those years they're like okay,

so let's deal with this.

(gentle music)

- [Male Interviewer] How long have you had Avery?

- [Women In Unison] Since she was three days old.

- [Male Interviewer] Three days old.

- [Long Haired Woman] Yes.

- [Male Interviewer] Wow.

So tell me about the process of getting to that.

Do you just call up an adoption agency and be like

"Hey, we wanna adopt" and they say yes?

- We called a lot of them.

- Searched online and got turned away.

- Why?

- 'Cause we were gay.

- Well and we weren't married.

- Correct, so a lot of places would get around the

you have to be straight by saying,

well you have to be married.

- And at that point--

- [Long Haired Woman] We weren't.

- You could not be married.

- [Women In Unison] We could not get married.

- What year was this?

- We adopted Avery in 2007, we started the process in 2005,

and the private agency that we used they were okay with

adopting to a single parent, but on the paperwork,

I was the roommate.

So during the--

- I'm still trying to collect rent. (laughing)

- It was very, I guess a little unnerving that you're

getting ready to commit your life to a child

and from the very beginning you're not even officially

considered a parent.

- [Narrator Knowing full well the Importance

a marriage certificate had on their ability

to legally form their family,

April and Ginger with Avery at their side got married

in Massachusetts in 2012 where it was legal.

But like many states at the time,

Alabama didn't recognize it so they added their names

in a lawsuit for marriage equality.

- [Short Haired Woman] There was three people

who had sued the state of Alabama for marriage equality.

We were one of those couples,

but they were all separate cases

in different districts of Alabama.

- [Narrator] While their case was pending

in the Supreme Court in Alabama, gay marriage was legalized

nationwide, lifting the final hurdle

for this Alabama family.