My family is large and boisterous! There is never a dull moment in my household. My wonderful wife Kristina and I are together raising two children Karina and Adrienne, I’m sure every mom says this, but I mean it from the bottom of my heart: I am truly blessed! Every member of our family brings such different personalities to the table, and we blend together so well.
First, there is Karina. Karina is 15 and is getting ready to enter high school in the fall. She is goofy and has the biggest heart I’ve ever seen in a child. She’s a great kid!
My youngest daughter’s name is Adrienne. She is dynamic! She is 8 and is a dancing, singing, DIVA! Aside from her love of the stage, she also plays baseball on a little league team. She is the only girl on the team and she makes her mommas proud!
Completing my amazing family is my spouse Kristina. She is the best thing that has happened to me (besides my children!). We share the same core values, and we have the same idea of what love is and how to maintain a happy marriage. She is a true partner and never fails to supports and love the kids and me. Kristina just has that kind of personality where I knew, the moment I met her, that I would spend my life with her and build a family together.
Last month, Kristina and I traveled to Chicago and we finally said those two magical words: “I do.” The feeling of knowing that I was married to Kristina, and that this marriage license had both of our names on it—it was indescribable.
But that moment of bliss was short-lived. That’s because when we crossed the border back into Ohio, our marriage license suddenly meant nothing. The respect and dignity a legal marriage confers were not afforded to us in Ohio. And until Ohio overturns the constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples, Kristina and I—despite our marriage—are nothing but legal strangers to each other in the state we call home.
Living in a state where same-sex couples are not respected is often overwhelming. Gay couples are perceived as less than the average person. When people see us with our children, they often stare or make cruel comments. And then we’re left having to explain to our children why our family is treated differently than other families.
This Mother’s Day, it is important to recognize that all moms just dream of creating a loving and supporting environment for their children. Kristina and I are kept from being able to fully protect Karina and Adrienne because of Ohio’s harmful ban on marriage for same-sex couples. We love our kids and just want to support them in every way possible
Jacqueline Quinones lives in Toledo with her wife, Kristina, and her daughters Adrienne and Karina.