In Sight: "After 20 years, it's time."

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

"It's not about us as a couple. It's about us as a family," Carla Gill of Auburn, bottom right, said. Gill woke her children, Noah and Annie, at 4:30 in the morning after Election Day to tell them that the people of Maine had voted to allow Gill and her partner of 20 years, Ariel Gill, second from left, to marry. 

Noah, Annie, Ariel and Carla Gill pick apples together, cook dinner together, feed the dog and are competitive at Scrabble. 

"We are just the same as any other family," Carla Gill said. 

Carla and her partner, Ariel Gill, have celebrated 19 anniversaries, bought a house in Auburn, raised two children and now are allowed to get married. 

"It's time to get married after 20 years," Ariel Gill said. "We just had the house and the children first." 

The Gill family have the people of Maine to thank. Maine and Maryland became the first states to approve same-sex marriage by popular vote on Nov. 6. 

"I never thought in my lifetime that I would be here to see this happen," Carla Gill said. "I gave up on the idea of being married, even if I felt married." 

Carla and Ariel watched as Question 1 results trickled in on Election Day. 

"We weren't holding our breath, but Ariel and I believe that everything happens in due time," Carla said. 

The opponents of same-sex marriage did not accept defeat until 1:30 a.m. the next day, far past the Gill family's bedtime. 

Carla could not sleep and checked results in the middle of the night. 

"I felt such a sigh of relief," Carla said about how she felt when she saw that Question 1 had passed 53 percent to 47 percent. "I thought same-sex marriage was never going to happen during my lifetime until now."

Carla woke the rest of the family at 4:30 a.m. to spread the good news. "I wanted to be the first one to tell them. I did not want them to learn about it on Facebook or on their phones."

"When she woke me up, the sensation of energy came through me because I was so excited," 11-year-old Noah said. 

"It's very exciting for us, maybe more so for us than some of the younger couples, because when we were first dating being gay was not accepted anywhere. You snuck around in the dark, and you didn't let your neighbors know," Ariel said. "Things have changed so much."

The Gill family did not post pre-election signs in their yard. They support the organizations that go to bat, but "we have never been very politicized,"  Ariel said.

"We use to be bumper-sticker queens before kids, but have now cleaned up our act," Carla said. 

Ariel and Carla decided about a month ago to get married if Question 1 passed.

"She said yes and I said yes," Carla said. "We sat and talked with the kids and they said 'of course, you have to,'" she said. 

The couple plan to marry at the ocean in June, one month after their 20th anniversary of being together. 

"We know we can't afford a honeymoon because we had the kids first," Carla said with a laugh. Annie and Noah are pushing for a "family honeymoon."

"That's how we raised them," Carla said. "It's not about us as a couple. It's about us as a family."

 "I have seen my friends open their minds because of my family," said Annie, a 16-year-old senior at Edward Little High School. "When people look at me, they don't know that I have two moms, because we are just the same as any other family."

"We are just a family living our lives, paying our bills, crying our tears and sharing our laughter," Carla said. "We live our life, and we have the same highs and lows and joys and sorrows as anybody else."

"We don't identify ourselves as a gay family," Carla said. "We live without labels ... other than the label of 'family.'"

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Jeff Johnson's picture

Gay Marriage Lifestyle

Mr. Begin, Just what exactly is the Gay Marriage Lifestyle? I imagine it to be something like this:
6:00AM: Shuffling around in pajamas and slippers while making coffe, waking the kids, and waiting for the bathroom.
7:00AM Hustling the kids out the door for school, making sure they have their lunches, putting the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, making the shopping list for tonight's dinner, feeding the cat, starting a load of laundry, putting out the garbage, Pick up after the kids, and driving into work.
9:00AM Grabbing more coffee at work.
NOON: Eating a sandwich, calling the dentist to reschedule an appointment, shopping on the internet, playing a round on Words With Friends.
5:00PM picking up the kids from practice, stopping at the grocery store, letting the cat out, supervising homework, checking email, calling mom to hear how her appointment went, starting dinner. Pick up after the kids
7:30: Start the dishwasher, turn on The Big Bang Theory, fold the laundry, break up the kids from fighting, unclog the upstairs toilet, take out the returnables, stop the cat from clawing up your couch. pick up after the kids.
10:00 Get the kids in bed, Take 7 minutes before bed to talk to your spouse about their day, pick up after the kids, wait for the bathroom, switch over the laundry you started in the morning, brush your teeth, climb into bed, and decide that you'd like to have 7 extra minutes of sleep, rather than sex.

Gay marriage lifestyle sounds outrageous, doesn't it?

Catherine Pressey's picture

Exactly to point. Jeff

That piece of paper will not change that day in their lives, and if that is what it takes to make them feel licensed to conduct that kind of day. Many of our us that are male female, partners of my gosh, can not see where one needs a license to work that hard. Gay marriage is still in itself humorous, laughable call it NOT sounds lets see how they can marry those bodies into one. OPPPSS Good luck to them none the less, as life is like a box of choclates, you never know what your will get. DIVORCED REMARRIED DIVORCED. Will not prove a thing not to me or will my opinion hurt them. Stay happy!

Wendi Ward's picture

I'm so happy for your family.

I'm so happy for your family. Your wedding will be an exciting day, and history making! Hugs I hope it is as beautiful as you've dreamed.

Richard Begin's picture

Sight

is comment is from Henry Bear

Henry you stated that you were a republican who Voted for Obama. Well I Considered there may be a least one Good republican that may have lost his or her sanity for a limited Time.

But I was Wrong as you are the Second self professed Republican who admitted to voting for President Obama.

Henry I can assure you that I did not would I ever vote for President Obama , He and I see a different America.

The America I see is one where We all Pay for what get get. The rub comes where the Obama that your Certainly Voted for has no real Understanding of what being an American really means in giving everything away with out Honor and Integrity

One Other Question Henry
Are you Related to Yogi Bear or Boo Boo ?

You sound more like Boo Boo

I could be wrong

Yogi Certainly would never vote for President Obama

Catherine Pressey's picture

Hey never vote for the winner, President Obama

I voted for President Obama and I am amoung the 47% that Mitt the Nitt, claimed got gifts I still waiting for the new car or something that may keep we Democrates happy, but we are LOL because out of Mitt's own mouth he keeps proving that that one man this nation dodged a bullet when Obama won and we the people spoke, now when the Republican party come back down, to the ground and starts to understand none of us on the bottom want to take one dime, it is the top 2 % that, take and take and take. I grew up in a Republican Home and my dad was a Union man. But dad voted for the man not the party, and in this case we the people voted to give Obama the four more years, because we do not want a repeat of the Bush screw ups. How you got here, on Obama except that he leaned toward the marriage equallity, I sure would not, not vote for him because I did not agree with everything he was about. I voted for the person that can and does care about we the people. And Yogi the bear was always wanting some hand out so if your right he would want to vote for Obama. If Mitt the Nitt was right with all those gifts.

Richard Begin's picture

In Sight/ But Void of discression

Catherine;

Your post make good Sense. let be Realistic this Decision by the Voters of Maine to allow Two Indviduals of the Same Sex to become legally Married. is reall when you stop and think about it Much Ado abouth Nothing.

I say this becasue I wonder in all Sincerity just how many of these Couples are Active members of a Chruch? like the catholic Church or Baptist or many others.

Many years ago when I was a married Man my Wife was Desperately desirous of Joining the Universalist Unitarian Church In Auburn. These folks who attended that Church have over time Turned themselves Inside out to Accomadate the Gay Marriage Voting Block.

Eventually when I came to my Senses and My Spouse and I moved on in our seperate Directions I never forgot what I Witnessed at that Church Each Sunday.
Thee Folks displayed great intentions but believe me it did not reflect any semblence of what I had expierenced at other House's of Worship

In Time we have come to understand that it is such Institutions that have Gorwn into a magnet of Support to promote the Gay mrriage Lifestyle.

What I am Curious to know Catherine is Where does God Stand on this Issue. The God I am speaking about seems to lost interest in the Herts and the Minds of this New Addition to the institution of Marriage.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Well Richard where does God stand on this issue?

You seem to ask me where God Stands on this issue, only god knows and only he can forgive or judge any of us. And we can all open a church and adjust the rules to suit ourselves if we are powerful enough, like the Bible, King James, did not like the fact that he could not divorce, and a few other issues so he ordered his own Bible written, at least thats how I remember the story. My sister, whom was gay, passed one year ago. She probably knows by now how our lord felt about the issue, and thankfully Jesus died on the cross for the sins of this world, AND LIKE HE SAID FATHER FORGIVE THEM THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO. Richard if God lets me know any different. I will pass it on. LOL

Richard Begin's picture

In Sight yes but Void of discression

Mr Grenier;

You are right we you repeated what I wrote in relation to this issue and My Family members being Gay.

I also did vote Yes. for two resons (1) It makes sense from a Cultural point to have this issue behind us (2) I believe every one has the Right to be Miserable in Marriage.

But Gary I also made the laughable Remark because on the Surface when some of us look at these two Quote En Quote Mothers One cannot help but Snicker at their lack or interest of Privacy.

Why do these two and others of thier Ilk Have the need to Publicly expose Everyone to their Lifestyle. We know about them

Second My relatives would never Ever bring their relationship into the Public Market for all to see. They Understand the Value of Privacy .They Understand what it means to be discrete

That Said Mr Grenier Carla and Ariel either do not see the need for a private Family Moment or they just don't care.

Either way the story was good for a few laughs.

Richard

Gary Grenier's picture

The "lifestyle" they are

The "lifestyle" they are publicly exposing is one of a loving family. We've seen articles in the past regarding heterosexual couples who have tied the knot after decades. Nobody complains.

As for announcing engagement, publicly, you make it sound like that's a bad thing. Couples have been announcing engagement in the paper as long as I can remember. Check out the Sunday paper.

I voted against, but am darn glad, on second thought, I lost

Congratulations!

You have a lovely, lovely family.

I love this Country!!!!!!

Republican for Obama

Mazel tov

How wonderful it is that this couple now has the same freedom to marry as other loving, committed couples. This is good.

Mandi Rines's picture

Mr. Richard laughable...

Well Richard, I believe you will be the one who is "laughable", seems how I don't believe this article stated that anyone was looking for you're opinion in the matter, or in stories like this. Each and every person deserves to be happy, clearly you are not if you have nothing better to do with you're time.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Well Mandi, laughable to you too!

Like I stated in another comment, when one lets themselves and their kids go forward on the news picture and all, not showing consideration for the kids safety, not even Dr. Phil would think that a good idea. However that is another issue, but when one puts themselves in this place. WE THE PUBLIC, WITH OUR GOOD OR BAD OPINIONS HAVE A RIGHT TO COMMENT. And Mandi look whom has set herself up as opinion sheriff, and your the one that is laughable because you also seem to have lots of time on your hands. Leave the issue out of the news, and the world will not comment either way. One other thing my half sister was gay, and she did not even like the term gay, was gay when it sure was not fasionable to make it public, she lived most of her life, with its ups and downs, she has since passed onto the the next world. Heaven is where I pray she is, however she was still with us in body mind when this issue came up a couple years ago. She clearly had a postion in the matter of marriage, she said that they did not have any need to marry, they can not have kids. Yes they can adopt, or bring them into the relationship but if God had deemed it normal they could have a child from each of their genes. NOT, can not happen like the kids in this picture, who is the daddy, anyhow I figure that if these persons are so darn happy and the story stated they were already happy HOW ON EARTH IS A PIECE OF PAPER GOING TO ADD TO THAT. Let the stories like this stay private and protect those children from public notoriety this story could have been just a happy without the picture of the kids. That Mandi is my opinion and yes I have the time. Clearly marriage is not going to make those that are happy any happier, could make them less happy.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Nothing better to do,

Mandi, when one allows a story to go into the news, one has to take the good with the bad, I for one voted against this issue and stated more than enough of my opinion in this matter. The People of Maine have spoken for sure, and one thing I am glad about is that we now can more on, this story just goes to show that these just reg. families want to make a statement to we straight people. That statement for what ever reason is to try to prove to us, that they are just normal persons living in this world. A gay man from Calif. said gays can not expect we straight people to understand, and he is right. Now stay off the news and go on with your lives, lets hope that all our opinions count good or bad, that is what makes up America. What is laughable is what the real agenda is and was. As two seemingly happy people need that piece of paper a license to solidify that relationship is, lets see how many like it when it all falls apart and they must sell the home to divide the assets, after divorce. That love is not going to be gaurantee forever. That of course is my opinion, and that in this country is my right too!

Gary Grenier's picture

"As two seemingly happy

"As two seemingly happy people need that piece of paper a license to solidify that relationship is, lets see how many like it when it all falls apart and they must sell the home to divide the assets, after divorce. That love is not going to be gaurantee forever."

You mean just like heterosexual couples? Wow, I wonder why ANYONE bothers to get married?

Catherine Pressey's picture

Heterosexual couples WoW!

I hate that term, sounds like a awful mess, anyhow the voters turned out just enough to make them happy now lets see if the courts like to divorce them, you think there are bad divorces, with all that passion if that is what it is, good luck to them in any case, yes I did it once married once, divorced yes, was it for love, what is love anyway? LOL Bet this will get a laugh, LLLL OOOOLLLL

Mandi Rines's picture

Plain and Simple...

No you're right, love can never be a guarantee forever, but EVERYONE sure as hell deserves a right to try! Maybe it didn't work out for you, but stop being miserable and looking down on people who support the fact that everyone deserves an equal right to marry and be happy. Plain and simple.

Catherine Pressey's picture

Plain and simple Mandi

I say that because seems a wee bit mixed up in our ideas or beliefs, aren't we. Mandi your once again stateing that a person needs that license to be happy, Simply putting it if your right and they need a piece of paper to make them happy and they should have that chance to be so very happy, all because you say that piece of paper will do the trick. Be for real if they love each other nothing can take that away. or make it more complete. Speaking from my heart I do think this is much to do about nothing. It to me is just that they want to prove to the world and we straight people HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT, THAT WE CAN NOT. NOW I SAID IT AGAIN LET THEM MARRY LET THEM DIVORCE LET THEM ANNOUNCE IT IN PUBLIC, nothing is going to make straight people understand. We may now have to accept it in the legal way, however they will always be different from my normal. That is the way it is. NOW LET THEM GO FORTH, to bad they can not understand our differences too! IT IS WHAT IT IS. PLAIN AND SIMPLE,

Richard Begin's picture

About time

To be truthful I find these storys laughable Like who really cares what these two want ?

I voted against, but I care and, in my view, so should you

Our system has worked and we lost. That's how the system werks, and you know it.

The law is the law, and we, together, made the law a few days ago. It's over.

Let's, literally, move forward.

Signed,

Republican for Obama

Gary Grenier's picture

Surprised

Mr. Begin,

I'm surprised at your comment. In a comment to a prior article, you stated that you have gay relatives, and that you were going to vote Yes on 1. Why would you not want to read a story regarding a family who are reaping the benefits of your vote?

Zack Lenhert's picture

...I find your comment

...I find your comment laughable. Who care what you think about what other people want?

Charlotte Morin's picture

Great story Carla and family!

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I am very happy for you and your family! I did have a Yes on One sign on my lawn and still have my bumper sticker.

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