Maria Valente and Andrea Bond were married in Massachusetts four years ago by a justice of the peace. The East Providence women insist they are just like any other couple raising three children. But a few years ago, when Bond had surgery in Rhode Island, they found out not everyone agrees.
‘‘I was told I couldn’t be in the room with her,’’ Valente said. ‘‘It was discouraging and hurtful. The children were upset. Why drive a wedge into a family like that?’’
Valente and Bond hope Rhode Island joins the rest of New England this year in allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.