Five years ago Kinsey Morrison co-signed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of all children with LGBTQ+ parents in the case that made marriage equality the law of the land. This month, Family Equality sits down with Kinsey to revisit this historic achievement, and to hear how her career is progressing as Communications Advisor to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.
“I can’t overstate enough the impact marriage equality has had on changing norms,” 23 year-old Kinsey Morrison reflects on the historic civil rights decision. On June 26, 2015, the high court handed down a landmark 5-4 decision affirming that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry and are entitled to all the rights and benefits that flow from marriage. On March 6, 2015, Family Equality (then the Family Equality Council) filed an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of 3 million American parents and 6 million American children. Included in the brief was Kinsey’s personal account of growing up with two moms and two sisters in Kentucky.
On April 28, 2015, as the Supreme Court heard arguments in the Obergefell case, Kinsey Morrison stood on the steps of the court and proudly declared, “The Supreme Court cannot decide today whether or not I have a family!” Revisiting that day, Kinsey tells Family Equality, “I could never have prepared for how close and how loud the opposing protestors would be… We don’t have to convince other people that we deserve rights, we deserve those inherently, based on our humanity.”
Today the Stanford graduate works as Communications Advisor to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, bringing her social justice values to the Governor’s efforts. “It’s been really cool growing up to see the evolution of my state, Kentucky, and the entire American South in being more and more open to marriage equality and LGBTQ rights. Governor Andy Beshear is explicitly in favor of banning conversion therapy, of a statewide fairness law, [and] he was the first sitting governor to ever speak at a fairness rally. And I actually got to help write his speech for that rally, which was a very, very proud moment for me.”
Beyond marriage equality, there is still more work to do says Kinsey. “Changing the perspective on some of these religious freedom laws: your first amendment rights don’t allow you to discriminate against other people. God is love. God is loving your neighbor as you would yourself. How can that translate for people into discriminating against others? I just don’t get it.”
Looking forward to continuing her career in progressive Kentucky politics, Kinsey muses about one day being the first woman of color governor of Kentucky before gracefully acknowledging she would be delighted if someone else beat her to it. In the short term, especially with the current Covid-19 pandemic, she alludes to also looking forward to the simple things. Like getting her own apartment and having her sisters over for a movie and some popcorn.
This film was produced with the support of the Ric Swezey Memorial Fund, dedicated to telling the stories of everyday LGBTQ families in their struggle for lived and legal equality. Make a donation to support our storytelling work here.