Every marriage is important, but some can actually move mountains. Californians Kris Perry and Sandy Stier were first married during a brief 2004 window during which the city of San Francisco issued licenses to same-sex couples. That marriage—and some 4,000 others like it—was later voided by California’s Supreme Court, but Kris and Sandy weren’t about to give up so easily.
In 2009, the Berkeley couple, along with Burbank duo Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo, became plaintiffs in a landmark case against California’s same-sex-marriage-banning Proposition 8, taking it all the way to the US Supreme Court. In 2013, the Court ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional, making marriage equality the law in California. The long and emotional road to that decision—and Kris and Sandy’s marriage just after it, officiated by then-California Attorney General and now US Senator Kamala Harris—was chronicled in a fascinating 2014 HBO documentary, The Case Against 8.
Kris and Sandy now reside in Washington, DC, where Kris, 52, is executive director of the bipartisan First Five Years Fund (which advocates for federal investment in early childhood education), and Sandy, 54, is a data systems expert for the Department of Health and Human Services. In February, they are playing themselves in Dustin Lance Black’s eagerly anticipated LGBT-rights ABC miniseries, When We Rise. Just days after the 2016 election, Kris shared with us the story of her relationship with Sandy, her thoughts on the future of marriage equality, and her advice for those now contemplating LGBT activism.
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