One of the most important gay couples in the fight for same-sex marriage equality recently starred in a heartwarming photo collage that has Reddit users going crazy with joy. Paul Campion and Randy Johnson were plaintiffs in one of four landmark equality cases that ultimately led to the Obergefell decision in 2015. Fans of the couple compiled a “through the years” photo collage using images from social media showing off 28 years of love.
Same-Sex Marriage Landmark Couple Shares 28 Years of Love In One Photo Collage
Campion and Johnson faced many challenges throughout their 28 years together. As Randy told ACLU.org, for a long time they struggled to find a way around the state laws to realize their dream of legally becoming parents. The couple met in 1991 in Louisville, Kentucky, Johnson said that “it was love at first sight.” Although Paul lived in New York, at the time they met he was just finishing a one-week vacation to see his brother in Louisville.
For a long time they traveled back an forth from New York to Louisville, because they were just starting their lives and had to make it work. At the time Paul was a teacher and Randy just started working as a nurse. For both of them, their families were everything. Both came from big families and knew the value of a strong support system. They wanted the same for their own family.
Six months into their distance relationship, Paul took the step and moved in Louisville. They exchanged rings on Christmas in 1992 and started working towards having a family on their own. Of course, things weren’t as easy as one may want to believe. They encountered many setbacks and had to work around the laws against gay adoption.
When they found someone willing to let them adopt, they received the surprise of their life- twins! The birth mother wanted her babies to remain together. At that time, the state of Kentucky didn’t allow two adults to adopt unless they were married. Because of this, only one of the men could try to adopt.
“As a result, Paul is the only legal parent to our twin boys,” Johnson said. “It was and continues to be painful that we aren’t both legally acknowledged as fathers and both legally responsible as parents.”
Health scare prompts couple to join the fight for marriage equality
From there, their family could only get bigger. And it did. In only a few years they were the proud parents of four amazing children but unfortunately, couldn’t legally be a family. For a long time they faced the fears that if something happened to one of them, their children wouldn’t be able to stay with the other.
In 2008 they wed while on a vacation in Palm Springs, California. Unfortunately, Kentucky didn’t recognize their California marriage.
Their biggest fight with the system started in 2012, after Paul received a prostate cancer diagnosis. That made them realize even more that even they have been together for a long time, the law wouldn’t allow them to make decisions on each other’s healthcare.
That realization prompted them to join a federal lawsuit to stop Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages and create a better life for all the LGBT couples in the state. Now, 28 years later, they are celebrating their relationship and their incredible family.
They received many beautiful messages in the thread and everyone seems very happy to see them together.
These pictures brings me such good feelings, what a lovely family!
What do you think of the photo collage showing off 28 years of happiness for the landmark gay couple? Share below.
Andreea is a very passionate content creator and her purpose is to provide you with the most interesting articles, while constantly discovering new facts. She’s been freelance writing for the past five years and has created numerous articles and educational materials while managing her own blog.