Tess Fields, the lesbian daughter of Georgia Christian Coalition leader Sadie Fields, is speaking out against her mother's campaign to amend the Georgia state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Just days before Tuesday's referendum, Tess Fields sent a letter to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's editorial page, criticizing what she called her mother's "bigotry" and "abject hostility toward gay and lesbian people." Tess Fields, a 35-year-old mother who lives in Oregon, said in an interview with the newspaper that she was speaking out partly to answer an opinion piece her mother previously wrote in the newspaper. She also wanted to offer encouragement to people opposing the amendment.
Georgia is one of 11 states with measures on the November 2 ballot that would amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The Georgia measure also specifies that the state need not recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states and would declare that Georgia courts will have no jurisdiction to settle property division disputes arising from same-sex unions.
Sadie Fields said her daughter's sexuality and their strained relationship are deeply painful for her. The Christian Coalition leader, who also has two sons, said that she loves her daughter and prays for her daily. "I would give my life for her, but I can't affirm her in her choices," she said. Sadie Fields said she would continue to support the proposed amendment because she believes it's the right thing to do. "The amendment issue is larger than just one relationship," Sadie Fields said. "It's not just about me and my daughter. It's about the future of this country."