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.
- [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.
- [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.
- '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.
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