For many years, Rona and Mary Peterson-Johnson found great joy in their work as school teachers. Each day, they taught their classrooms of students, working through each subject and preparing the next generation. But in the back of their minds, the women did harbor some discomfort – the knowledge that legally, they could have lost their jobs at any moment, just because they are lesbians. Rona and Mary have been together since 1987, nearly thirty years of commitment. Now, Mary and Rona feel it is well past time for the protections and responsibilities that they know all people, including LGBTQ people, should have.
“Never in my life did I expect to be able to be legally married, and then I never expected to be able to adopt legally,” Mary said in 2016, referencing her children. “The world I grew up in told me very different things from the things I’ve been able to do in the past year and a half. “If momentum keeps going, then it would be great. If we passed full LGBTQ protections, it would feel like it’s about time. It’d be great.”