Campaign for Southern Equality and Freedom to Marry have joined together to share this touching love story about two dads and their four boys. As a couple, they have struggled to have their family protected by North Carolina law and elevated from second-class citizenship. “What we are saying is that we are a family. We want society to say, ‘We will protect this family.’”

Mark Maxwell and Tim Young of Winston-Salem are proud fathers to four boys ranging in age from 13 to 24. They have been together for 20 years and were legally married in Washington, D.C. this year. North Carolina will not issue a marriage license to them. Nor can they jointly adopt the boys under North Carolina law because they are a same gender couple.

“Torin came to us when he was nine. He would say, ‘I don’t understand. Why can’t you get married.’ It is all about our family for us. So Tim and I getting married is a message to our boys that we are one family, that’s what it is about.”

A recent Williams Institute study, “LGBT Parenting in the United States,” concludes that “an estimated 3 million LGBT Americans have had a child and as many as 6 million American children and adults have an LGBT parent.”

Other study results include:

  • More than 125,000 same-sex couple households (19%) include nearly 220,000 children under age 18.
  • More than 111,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 170,000 biological, step, or adopted children.
  • Same-sex couples raising children are four times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising an adopted child. An estimated 16,000 same-sex couples are raising more than 22,000 adopted children in the US.
  • Same-sex couples are six times more likely than their different-sex counterparts to be raising foster children. Approximately 2,600 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 3,400 foster children in the US.
  • More than a quarter of same-sex couples raising children (25.6%) include children identified as grandchildren, siblings, or other children who are related or unrelated to one of the spouses or partners. Approximately 32,000 same-sex couple households include more than 48,000 such children.
  • Same-sex couple parents and their children are more likely to be racial and ethnic minorities.

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