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100 Women We Love: Class of 2011

photo by courtesy of AFER
KRIS PERRY & SANDY STIER

Kris Perry (left) and Sandy Stier are co-plaintiffs in Perry v. Brown, the landmark case brought by the American Foundation for Equal Rights challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage. Perry is the executive director of First 5 California, a state agency promoting education and health for children. Stier is the information technology director for the Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services Agency. Together for over 10 years and parents of four sons, Perry and Stier first married in 2004 when San Francisco began issuing licenses, only to have their marriage status revoked shortly thereafter. “Like so many others we felt numb from that loss,” they say. “Our love and commitment never changed…but we were painfully aware of the reality that we didn't have the same protections or privileges as our (straight) married friends and relatives.” The couple began their legal battle against Prop 8 in May 2009, feeling a responsibility to take the issue of marriage rights to the courts, where constitutional rights would be addressed. On August 4, 2010, the U.S. District Court ruled Prop 8 unconstitutional. The case is currently under appeal. –SLO

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