More than most, our family understands the movements of history.
We were among those who first publicly and proudly identified ourselves as a family with a parent who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). Over the course of 30 years, we have witnessed first hand how attitudes are changing.
Now, as we watch history being made at the Supreme Court, we have a lot to say about the love that makes a family.
We are part of a generation of modern families who define ourselves by the love that binds us together. As a cultural struggle has played out in the public square over marriage equality, it’s the love that exists in all families –whether their parents are gay or straight –that should be paramount to any discussion about marriage, and there is no debating the love that we have for each other.
Our family has been through difficult times together. Having a parent become the world’s first openly gay bishop was bound to test our family bonds, just as the events in all of our lives often do. But what has held us together through the years is our unwavering commitment to each other and the understanding that no matter what the world outside may throw at us, our love for each other is stronger.
That’s what the American people need to hear as the Supreme Court hears arguments in Hollingsworth V. Perry and Windsor V. United States; that the nation is ready for marriage equality because each passing day more of our friends and neighbors recognize in us the love they know in their own families. More and more they understand that at the end of the day our families are much more alike than they are different – no matter what it may look like on the outside.
Marriage equality is, at its core, about love, commitment, and fairness. Over the years, our family has experienced love and commitment in abundance because God has blessed us with the unyielding strength of our family. But, we’ve also experienced how deeply unfair it is that our family is treated differently because of who we are.
That’s why we are dedicated to speaking out on this issue.
We’ve tried to base our lives on the golden rule –do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We try each and every day to extend the love that exists in our family outwards, and to treat others as we want to be treated, and we ask the same of our fellow Americans.
Today, our country is undergoing a transformation that will strengthen the bonds of all our families. We are becoming a place where we honor and value every person – no matter who they love. We are becoming a country where all our children know that their families are respected—no matter their composition. We are becoming a country that puts the love of families above discrimination.
But we’re not there yet. We can do better.
We envision looking back on this time, 30 years from now, and marveling at how far we’ve come. But until then we must see this historic moment as a chance to bring us closer to that reality.
This is the moment where love triumphs and families just like ours experience the fairness we’ve waited for decades to find.
The nation is ready to honor the love of all families.
The nation is ready for marriage equality.
The Right Reverend V. Gene Robinson, Retired, served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire from 2003 to 2013 and was the first openly gay bishop of a major Christian denomination. The bishop’s latest book, “God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage,” was published by Alfred Knopf in the fall of 2012. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Ella Robinson is the youngest daughter of Gene Robinson. She serves as co-chair of the “Outspoken Generation,” a national program empowering young adults with parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) to speak out on behalf of their families.