I’m sitting here at my desk packing boxes and I can¹t help but reminisce about my time as executive director of the Family Equality Council. It has been eight years of amazing memories and incredible progress for our families. Six months prior to taking the helm of, George W. Bush had won the corner office, the Senate and House were controlled by Republicans and we had lost 13 anti-marriage ballot amendments. The organization was a small team of three operating on an annual budget of $500,000. Today we have marriage in 9 states and the District of Columbia with Minnesota and Illinois about to do the same, we have a staff of 19 and our annual operating budget is just shy of $3 Million.
As I pack away the photo of my twins, Tim and Tom, at age four, I think of our famous trip to the White House Easter Egg Roll in 2006 where we camped out all night with hundreds of other parents and kids to ensure
that our families received tickets and were included in this time-honored American tradition. This Spring, our families will be invited guests for the 5th year in a row demonstrating just how far
we¹ve come in raising the visibility of our families.
It was a similar photo of Tim and Tom that I showed to President Obama during a private moment at the White House a few years ago. We discussed what his support of our families would mean to the millions
of parents in our country raising children. Now as I look upon the picture of my new baby, Matthew, I remember another incredible moment just a year ago as the President publicly offered his
support of marriage equality.
Because of our work together here at the Family Equality Council, Matthew and a generation of children are destined to grow up knowing that their parents will have the freedom to marry. The boxes beside my desk bring back so many other memories of our work and accomplishments – an old Family Week T-shirt – a pinwheel from our first federal lobby day in Washington DC – a Minnesota Rainbow Families brochure- photos from Pier alongside hundreds of long-standing friends and new supporters and some precious notes and letters from over the years from families like yours inspiring me and encouraging me to continue our fight for full equality.
That fight is far from over, but because of your support, Family Equality Council is stronger than at any point in its 30-year history.
As I prepare to leave, it will be in the hands of a hard-working board of directors, a talented staff and an energized base of 80,000 supporters.
In the not too distant future we will all look back on our memories of this time and take pride in what we did as a community to secure important rights including full parental rights and protections, the
freedom to marry, humane and inclusive immigration laws, employment non-discrimination laws and safer schools.
But for now, you should take joy in what we¹ve achieved together and know that the next Executive Director will sit here at this desk very soon and begin to celebrate other big milestones and accumulate even
more incredible memories with you.
On behalf of my spouse Cheryl, my sons Tim, Tom and baby Matthew, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making us a part of your family. I will carry you and your stories in my heart, I will cherish
the history we have made together, and I know that our time is near, our equality is inevitable and our power has never been greater. Our families will not be denied.