Mark Maxwell and Timothy Young and their family are featured in a video produced by the Campaign for Southern Equality and Freedom to Marry.
Maxwell and Young were married in Washington, D.C., where same sex unions are legal, earlier this year after 20 years together. They have four boys – Torin (13), Justin (16), Derrick (17), and Brandon (24). Because North Carolina does not recognize their lawful marriage, the couple says they have not been able to jointly adopt their children and fully protect their family under state law.
The video, “A Tale of Two Dads,” highlights the loving and committed family environment they have provided for their children and chronicles the struggle they say they face because of the anti-marriage constitutional amendment and discriminatory laws in North Carolina. The video, filmed through a collaboration between the Campaign for Southern Equality and Freedom to Marry, can be viewed on Youtube.
The couple also wrote an op-ed, “A Home With Two Fathers, and No Shortage of Love,” that was published last week at The Grio, a popular African American news site.
“It’s all about family for us, and so Tim and I getting married is a message to our boys that we are one family – that’s what it’s about,” Maxwell says in the video. “I would not want to parent with another person because we balance each other. We each have gifts that we bring to our family. I truly have my soulmate. … We want society to say, ‘We will protect this family.’ ”
Organizers of the video campaign, which coincided with Father’s Day and an expected landmark Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, hopes it enlightens and broadens minds.
“Loving and committed parents like Mark and Tim, and their four beautiful children, are denied important protections and security when states like North Carolina refuse to respect their lawful marriages and disrespect these families,” said Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry. “Every mainstream child-welfare, medical and public health association has found that same-sex parents are raising children who grow up just as successful, just as well-adjusted and just as healthy as children raised by different-sex couples. And these expert authorities all agree: ending the exclusion from marriage would help these families, while harming no one. Kids growing up in states like North Carolina and their families deserve the best – starting with equal protection and respect under the law.”