I’m haunted by an image I saw this week when I opened my Facebook feed.


I was introduced to Inger Knudson-Judd and Philippa Knudson-Judd through my friend Lucretia several months ago as they fought to stay together.

Think about that for just a second and let it sink in.

As they fought to stay together.

You see, our country, being very Christian-based and puritanical in its views on many things, has an issue with same-sex marriage.

Despite Inger and Philippa being legally married in Iowa, the Defence of Marriage Act, aka DOMA, means the Federal Government does not have to recognize their marriage because Philippa is not a US citizen. So in Iowa they are married, sort of…cross a state line and they aren’t, sort of- heck, even in Iowa it’s unclear thanks to DOMA. United States, my ass.

So what you see above is a family, again, being torn apart as they are forced to leave each other. They have had to leave each other over and over again as immigration separates them time and time again.

And it’s not just the two of them who feel the heartache and pain. Their 12-year old daughter suffers.

I dare you to try to ignore the pain on their faces. They had spent five weeks together and were saying goodbye, again, painfully again, as this photo was taken. No one wants to leave for the airport, but imagine leaving your spouse and not knowing when you’d get to hold her again.

It is times like this I am ASHAMED of my country. Maybe now some of you will understand a bit about what the First Lady meant. But then again, if you didn’t understand what she meant you are probably not in a minority group, or had your family torn into shreds because white, Christian, men in DC deemed it so.

So you will have to forgive me as I get very angry when the likes of Republican candidates speak of DOMA and DADT…all these strange lettered words that seem inhuman yet are nothing more than inhumane. As I remain proud of our President that has stood up to HALF of this country, of whom he desperately needs votes from, and told them he has come a long way on this issue and will continue to fight for what is RIGHT, not what his religion, or any other tells him. He’s had to search his own heart, as so many of a certain time, a certain generation, or of certain backgrounds must.

Because this photo is just one of millions that should haunt you as it haunts me.

There isn’t a day that goes by where I wonder what I would do if I did not have my loving partner in life near. Even now, as we have gone through our own hell, I’m glad to have had him by my side to go through it with…not thousands of miles away, torn from my side when I needed him most.

Yet, in this country, some people hide behind the ‘love’ of their ‘God’ to inflict this unspeakable pain on families. They hide behind their definition of family, not caring what that means for their neighbors, their friends, even members of their own family.

I don’t want to open my Facebook feed and be haunted again by a family being torn apart by politics or religion or bigotry or evil. There is no excuse for what your belief has done here. None. I say that with a clear conscience because my beliefs take away NOTHING from you- they CERTAINLY do not rip you from the arms of your spouse or your CHILD.

There are now legal battles to be fought, some against the current administration. Luckily they are working their best to get through this election and out the other side so they can continue their good faith efforts (like DADT) in making GOOD on the President’s journey on this issue. I want to see it in action, and given some major steps in his first term, I have every confidence we will see more in his second. Understandably, others want it faster. I can not fault them for this at all. And I lend my voice to theirs in demanding promises be kept.

But the thought of a Republican in the Oval office makes me weep for families like Inger and Phillipa. While my family would suffer as well, I can’t imagine what others would go through. At the very least, I would still have my spouse by my side.

Spare me your opposition to same-sex marriage and why you think you are right. Because all I need is this one photo to show you just how horribly, horribly wrong you are. I can not think of a single justification for tearing a family apart and causing this much hurt, this much pain, this much suffering…ever. And so help me if you really do, still, believe same-sex marriage is wrong…may this photo haunt you a thousand fold what it has haunted me, and may it remind you every single day what your beliefs have done to innocent Americans.


Cross-posted from Queen of Spain’s blog, by Erin Kotecki Vest.