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Day of Decision Op-ed: Don't Keep These Grandmas From Being Equal

Day of Decision Op-ed: Don't Keep These Grandmas From Being Equal


We asked readers for personal stories about how the U.S. Supreme Court's highly anticipated ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act has consequences for their own lives. These two grandmothers have waited 38 years for true equality.

We, Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz, have had many Days of Decision: our day of decision to be together 38 years ago, and another day of decision to join a lawsuit in 1988 to sue the New York City Board of Education for Connie to be on the health plan Ruthie received as a guidance counselor.
In 1994 we finally won the lawsuit for all New York City employees, not only those working for the Board of Education. We celebrated another Day of Decision on July 26, 2011, when we wed in New York City. Yet Ruthie still pays taxes on the cost of the health plan as income. Heterosexual married couples do not. How is that equal?
Now that we have been residents of Florida for 12 years, none of our Days of Decision give us any legal standing or safety as lesbians.
We have five children, 21 grandchildren, and so far, 10 great-grandchildren. They all have their civil rights we, their mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers do not.
We await impatiently for the Day of Decision that will be a beginning in achieving our full and equal civil rights as productive, taxpaying, voting, loving Americans.
RUTHIE BERMAN and CONNIE KURTZ live in West Palm Beach, Fla.
WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO DO, LARGE OR SMALL, ON THE DAY OF DECISION? Send us an essay about how you plan to mark that day and what it will mean to you personally at
30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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Ruthie Berman and Connie Kurtz