This story was initially created as part of the Marriage Equality Movement Family Story Quilt which premiered at San Francisco City Hall on National Freedom to Marry Day in February 2007, honoring the historic Winter of Love and the 40th anniversary of the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court Loving vs. Virginia decision. These family stories -- created in 2007 -- now have many updates, babies have been born, many couples have gotten legally married in California in 2008, some have divorced, some have won historic union battles and so much more ... stay tuned for updates!
Tara Miller, Linda Jo Morton & Kahlo Jalen Miller-Morton
- Years partnered: 10
- Tara is Eastern and Western European-American
- Linda Jo is African and Native American
- We live in Oakland, CA
We are a family consisting of Two Moms, One Child, Two Cats, and One Dog. We cherish the amazing moments together when our son Kahlo is singing, dancing, saying new words, and developing new skills. These moments are important to us because they strengthen us for the difficulties that life brings.
Our relationship of 10 years has been measured in blessings and trials. The blessings are easy to talk about. We have taken annual trips, around the United States and the world. Three years into our relationship, we made a plan to move in together, save for a house, finish school, get married and have a child. We put the plan into action right away.
In Summer of 2000, we were blessed with a 1500 square foot fixer-upper. For three years, we poured our financial and creative resources into fixing the house and landscaping in preparation for the back-yard wedding I always envisioned.
During that period, we also became aware of all we had to do to protect our decisions legally because of the lack of automatic protections offered in a traditional marriage. We were careful to become tenants in common for our title and we tried to create a pre-nuptual agreement to protect our financial interests in. We became domestic partners in 2001 to save on health care costs. The premiums were covered by Linda's union, but the draw backs were the taxes on the benefits and they did not cover fertility procedures.
We had our dream wedding in our backyard with our friends and community helping us the whole way. The day was amazing. Taiko drummers led our processional, a Yoruban Priestess blessed the ceremony, after our vows we jumped the broom, which signaled the belly dancers to enter. Both our families attended and blessed us. When the day came to a close we punctuated the event with a string of fireworks and whisked ourselves away to Tahiti for two weeks. That was another dream come true.
After our wedding in July 2003, we began a trip down the expensive road of fertility. My doctor would not help me with an IUI because the donor was not my husband. After 6 unsuccessful cycles, we had to re-evaluate our finances, donor options, and healthcare.
In 2004, we found out we were pregnant, we began a construction project, and Linda got scheduled for a long awaited surgery. The pregnancy turned out to be high-risk and high stress. The construction project was riddled with problems. The surgery and emotional issues surrounding it compounded by the other stressors put our family well-being at risk.
Kahlo was born full term and very healthy. I couldn't have asked for a better birthing experience. But stress followed as Linda Jo and I struggled to sort out what it was we wanted our family to look like and gladly that's what we've done. Though some issues remain unresolved, we work together using our faith, strength and courage to deal with life's trials one at a time.
The exhibit has toured extensively and is now part of an ongoing exhibit called THE LOVING QUILT 2010: A People's Living History - and Herstory - of Marriage Equality & Family Justice Movements
A Project of Marriage Equality USA in collaboration with NUMEROUS creative individuals & community, state and national organizations.
Maya Scott-Chung, MPH is the Creative Director and Curator of THE LOVING QUILT 2010 which was created during 2006-2010 as part of Maya's Masters in Public Health/ Community Health Education Thesis at San Francisco State University.
For exhibit booking and further information contact Maya: firstname.lastname@example.org (510) 381-0876
THE LOVING QUILT Webpage: www.marriageequality.org/quilt