LGBT Community Ally's Op-Ed for Marriage Equality Runs in El Diario La Prensa Just one week after its editorial board called for marriage equality in New York state, El Diario La Prensa, New York City’s biggest Spanish-Language daily, has run an op-ed in support of marriage equality written by longtime LGBT community ally and advocate Nila Marrone. Marrone's opinion piece speaks about how not having marriage equality harms entire extended families. Read a translated version of Nila's opinion piece, “Marriage is a Family Matter," below:
In 1983, my then 18-year-old goddaughter and niece Maria came out to her mother as a lesbian. I’ll never forget the day my sister-in-law called me, crying and seeking my help. It became clear that this was the time my godchild needed me most. I had to educate myself at once to help Maria and the entire family deal with society´s hurtful attitudes and ignorance around gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Today, Maria, now 46, lives with her wife and two children in Massachusetts where she was able to get married, but they are more than 4 hours away. Unfortunately, that means I don’t get to see my grandnephew and grandniece as often as I would like. And that hurts my family very much. Like most, my family is extremely close. We celebrate birthdays and holidays together. We are a tight community, helping raise each other’s children and supporting each other during tough times. So when Maria moved away from a state that didn’t have marriage equality, New York, to one that did, it was very hard for our family. But this isn’t just a reality for my family. The truth is, a countless number of families across the state have had to endure to pain of watching their loved ones move to neighboring states to get married, and so that their families could be recognized and legally protected. Hundreds of grandmothers and grandfathers have had to endure the strains of not being able to see their grandchildren because of distance and the rising costs of travel. And while much of the debate around marriage for same-sex couples has focused on religion or politics, very little attention has focused on the effects that denying these loving couples the ability to marry has had on entire families. Our gay sons and nephews and lesbian daughters and nieces are a valued and cherished part of our community and our families. We love them just the same and want to share in their joy as they embark on a lifetime commitment with the persons they love. Committed gay and lesbian couples, like any other loving couple, should be allowed to get married in the communities that they have known and in the company of their friends and family members who have shaped their lives. It is time that New York end discrimination and time for the state to have marriage equality for all those couples who wish to marry but are not allowed to, and for my precious goddaughter María.Nila Marrone is Bolivian-American, lives in New York, and is the founder and coordinator of Latino PFLAG in New York City. She appears in two documentaries, one with her adoptive son, Frank, in De Colores, and the other with her niece and goddaughter María in Anyone and Everyone. Her passion in life is to help mothers and fathers become strong advocates for their LGBT sons and daughters. The original version is at El Diario. El Diario La Prensa Publica Editorial de Aliada de la Comunidad LGBT en Apoyo a la Igualdad de Matrimonio El Diario La Prensa (el periódico más grande de habla hispana en la ciudad de Nueva York) ha publicado un editorial escrito por Nila Marrone, una gran defensora y aliada desde hace muchos años de la comunidad LGBT, en el cual hace un llamado al estado de Nueva York a que " elimine la discriminación y tenga igualdad de matrimonio para todas las parejas que no lo tiene" después de que el diario diera su respaldo a los matrimonios entre parejas gay y lesbianas la semana pasada. En su editorial, titulado "El matrimonio es un asunto de familias," habla del daño que sufren las familias porque no existe la igualdad en el matrimonio:
La mudanza de [mi sobrina y ahijada] María de un estado (Nueva York) que no tiene igualdad en el matrimonio a otro que lo tiene, hizo que nuestra situación familiar se hiciera difícil....Sin embargo, esta realidad no es sólo la de nuestra familia. La verdad es que un sin número de familias en todo el Estado de Nueva York ha tenido que soportar el dolor de ver a sus seres queridos partir para otros estados para casarse, para que sus familias sean reconocidas y tengan la protección legal.Para leer el editorial completo, visita el sitio web de El Diario. Nila Marrone es boliviana, vive en Nueva York, es fundadora y coordinadora de Latino PFLAG en NYC. Nila aparece en dos documentales: con su hijo de cariño, Frank, en De Colores y con su sobrina/ahijada María en Anyone and Everyone. Su pasión es lograr que los padres/madres luchen por sus hijos/as LGBT.