Marriage Equality USA

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Cathy Marino-Thomas, Member - Freeport, NY

cathy_marino_thomas.jpgAn out lesbian since 1978, Cathy lives with her wife, Sheila and daughter Jacqueline.  Sheila and Cathy have been together 17 years.  They had a Union Ceremony in 1995, registered as domestic partners in the state of New York in 1996 and married in Massachusetts in 2004. They have an 11 year old daughter through artificial insemination.  Cathy is the birth mother and Sheila was able to obtain a second parent adoption making both parents Jackie’s legal guardians.

Cathy worked with Marriage Equality New York on and off from 1998 to 2012, was Executive Director for 3 years (2005 - 2008) and was Board President until  Marriage Equality New York became a state chapter of Marriage Equality USA in 2012.  At that time she joined Dave Janis-Kitzmiller as Board Co-President of Marriage Equality USA until 1 July 2013. Cathy speaks all over New York State about the 1,338 federal rights, privileges and obligations that protect families only through the right to civil marriage.

Prior to working with Marriage Equality New York, Cathy spent many years as a Buddy in the Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) Buddy Program visiting countless people afflicted with HIV/AIDS and assisting them with daily chores, advocacy and information.

Currently, Cathy splits her volunteer time between Marriage Equality USA and her daughter's elementary school. Her family and love for her wife motivate her to continue to pursue the legal right to marry for couples in other states.