Originally published on Advocate.com March 13 2004 1:00 AM ET
Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell says she's happy that she and Rosie O'Donnell have put a face on the issue of same-sex marriage. "We're public figures, at least now in this whole gay marriage movement, and public figures as a gay family. And I feel like in some ways it's nice that we represent it because I think it brings a sense of normalcy to it," Carpenter O'Donnell tells Barbara Walters in an interview airing Friday night on ABC's 20/20. "It's like, you know what? That's me, and that's my partner, and these are my kids, and we're raising happy, healthy children."
Carpenter O'Donnell and the comedian were among the thousands of same-sex couples who got married in San Francisco in the past month. They tied the knot February 26. And after being together six years and raising four children, she said there was never any doubt that she'd take O'Donnell's last name. "It was my Christmas gift to Ro two years ago," she said. "My sister who's married was like, 'I don't want to take my husband's last name.' And I said, 'That's so funny, because I do want to take Ro's last name.'"