Guest Letter: Why Marriage Matters to Jill and Donnella

Tell your network:

Tell your network:

Donnella appears in one of Basic Rights Oregon’s videos, and she wrote today’s blog post to explain why marriage matters to her.

Donnella is a Movement Therapist in private practice. She and her partner Jill live with their 1.5-year-old son in Southeast Portland. And here is her story.

When I met Jill, I knew I had found my someone special.  As we got to know each other, it was clear she was the person I was waiting for. 

Jill is someone who loves me for who I am.  She shares my commitment to care about others in our neighborhood and community.  And she is an amazing parent to our 1.5-year-old son, Emmett.

But unlike most of our friends and neighbors who are in caring and committed partnership, we are denied the ability to marry.  Our commitment cannot be legally recognized in Oregon because our state constitution was amended to exclude committed same-sex couples from civil marriage.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Oregonians are having conversations every day and deciding that extending civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples will only strengthen communities. As people get to know couples like Jill and myself, they see that we hope to marry for very simple and similar reasons as any committed couple— to make a lifetime promise to share the joys and sorrows that life brings.

Not being able to marry affects all three of our lives on a daily basis. And as you might imagine, it is painful that our state and nation does not recognize and value our commitment to each other. 

This isn’t about changing the definition of marriage or challenging anyone else’s faith. It’s about love. It’s about commitment. And it’s about fairness.

I ask you to be a part of ensuring freedom for my family and many other caring and committed couples. Please go to to watch our video, get tips on how to start a conversation or share information with your social networks, and sign the “I Do” pledge to support the freedom to marry.

Thank you,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email