Elena & Theresa

August 23, 2013

ElenaIn 2003, Elena and Theresa met in Washington, DC and finally started dating after a series of missed connections. It only took one serendipitous connection to put them on their shared journey.

They were drawn to the differences in one another — Elena is an extrovert, Theresa is an introvert — but they’re relationship is built on their shared values — family, commitment, and stability.

Three years later, in 2006, they moved to Hawaii.

Three years after that, they were ready to start a family. Following a lot of planning and preparation, Elena and Theresa finally found out they were pregnant on Mother’s Day 2011. They were overwhelmed with joy that was doubled by the excitement from their extended family.

Today, their daughter, Elsa, is 19 months old, and is the light of their lives.

All along Theresa and Elena’s journey of becoming parents, they knew how important it would be to be able to protect Elsa. And they have always known that only a legal marriage that would be recognized by the state would provide them with the security they needed.

Back in 2007, Elena and Theresa stood on a black sand beach in Kalapana before their family and friends and pledged their love to one another. But that commitment wasn’t recognized by the state they call home. And even though the Supreme Court struck down the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, Theresa and Elena are still denied access to the federal safety net because Hawaii doesn’t allow them to marry.

So while they were trying to navigate the ups and downs of first-time parenthood — Theresa and Elena are more concerned now than ever about their family’s security and they are fighting for it! They want to see Marriage Equality in Hawaii.

It’s time that Hawaii allowed all committed couples to share in the freedom to marry. Until they do, families like Elena, Theresa, and Elsa will continue to be denied thousands of critical legal protections to take care of the ones they love.