I mean it when I say that my family is my life. Nothing—absolutely nothing—is more important to me than the happiness and wellbeing of my husband and children.
My husband, Billy and I have always taught our children that no matter what life throws at them, they should never feel alone; because we will be standing right behind them. And from the bottom of my heart, I truly believe this.
We have a huge family—two sons, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a son-in-law, one grandson, and four granddaughters. We enjoy just being together, it doesn’t matter what the activity is, just as long as we are together. Now that I’m a grandmother though, I have to say that my favorite thing is attending our grandchildren’s sporting events. I am so proud to see how talented they are!
Being a family brings us great joy, but there is one dark cloud that hangs over our happiness. Since same-sex couples cannot marry in Oklahoma, my son, Troy, is treated as less than my other children simply because he is gay. All mothers dream of seeing their children walk down the aisle, committing to spend their lives with the one person that they found that truly makes them happy in a way no other person can–their missing piece. But until Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment banning marriage for same-sex couples is overturned, that is a motherly dream I cannot fulfill.
Same-sex couples not having the freedom to marry in Oklahoma has left empty chairs at our table for a son-in-law, who should be there but is not
It brings me to tears every time I think of how two of my children enjoy the right to marry, while my third child has to fight to marry the one he loves. As a mother, I’m angry and I’m frustrated that Troy is treated as less-than.
Marriage is a great unifier, and I want all of my children to have the chance to experience that bond. It creates families; it gives a family the recognition of the state and of society. Marriage is a relationship that is universally understood and is a freedom that should be afforded to all.
This Mother’s Day, it is time for Oklahoma to consider all of the families that are impacted by the state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. My children mean the world to me, and ensuring their happiness and safety is all I could ask for.
Elizabeth Harcrow-Stevenson resides in Oklahoma City with her husband. She is a mother of three.