Outspoken Youth to Supreme Court: “DOMA Hurts Our Families!”

 Xavier Becerra (D-CA) is one of a handful of Congressional Representatives who voted against DOMA in 1996. Before Proposition 8 and DOMA went to the Supreme Court, he signed the Congressional amicus brief opposing DOMA alongside 211 of his colleagues. Rep. Becerra’s office also released a statement yesterday, saying, “history is on our side and our calls for justice will ultimately result in a victory for equality.” Still, he had not planned to attend the United for Marriage Rally—at least, not until his teenage daughter convinced him to join her on the steps of the Supreme Court.

Rep. Becerra’s daughter is part of a young generation that overwhelmingly supports the freedom to marry, and LGBT equality generally. And, as Reverend Lynn of the UCC remarked today, we know this signals that an era of bigotry and intolerance has reached an inevitable end.

Today, as yesterday, the United for Marriage Rally saw fantastic turnout and heard from over a dozen inspiring speakers. Among them were several children of LGBT parents, whose voices and stories are a crucial element in our national conversation.

This afternoon, Erika Scibelli stepped up to the mic and told us about what she has learned from growing up with two moms in Boston. “My family laughs, cries, and loves just like everybody else’s.” So why, she asked the Court, should her parents be treated differently than any others?

Erika follows three other members of the Outspoken Generation—Ella Robinson, Aliya Shain, and Sarah Gogin all spoke compellingly about their families during yesterday’s arguments on the Proposition 8 case. Sarah was raised by her two dads in San Francisco. Aliya’s mothers brought her up in New York, not too far from Ella and her dads. Yet despite arriving in Washington, D.C. from opposite ends of the country, these three young women reported much the same thing: Love is what binds their families together.

Being raised by gay parents “has not harmed me,” Aliya said yesterday. “Discrimination has… My family may look different, but the love we share is the same.” Sarah and Ella both described the ways in which their fathers’ love and courage have inspired them—and motivated them to speak out against injustice.

These young people have a mission: equal respect and recognition for all families. Equal opportunity for all their peers to form families of their own, regardless of who they love. Erika quipped this morning, “I’m from Boston, where we know how to start a revolution.” She calls this spirit of change “a revolution of love.”