My name is Scott Hines, and I’m a city councilman in the city of Rancho Mirage, California. My family and I moved to Southern California about four years ago. We were living in Nashville, Tennessee and my husband and I at the time were adopting a little baby girl named Sage. And the Tennessee legislature was moving quickly to pass legislation that would ban same sex couples, or even single gay parents from being able to adopt children.
It’s very personal to me, I was adopted and have since adopted foster kids myself. And this child is actually a biological relative of mine and her mother came and asked us to adopt her child because she couldn’t raise her. So, Sage came to live with us and was a precious addition to our family but when the state government began to move to breakup our family, to literally take our daughter away from us, we knew we had to make some very radical changes in our life.
So I sold my company. We sold our house. We literally voted and on election day we drove out of the state of Tennessee, cross country, with our family, to the state of California where we knew we could all be together. Sage was a baby so she really didn’t have that, but our other children certainly knew exactly what was happening. And you know, we had a tear in one eye of sadness for leaving behind family members and friends, and in the other eye, we had a tear of joy, because we felt like we were heading to higher ground where we would be safe.
We didn’t know what we would do when we got to California. We didn’t know what kind of jobs we would find or anything. But nothing was more important than keeping our family together. We finalized her adoption here in California and today we live with our four children and we’re a pretty normal family. We deal with all the things that other families do.
We have teenagers now and all of the fun that comes with that. But you know, we never take our family for granted. Because we realize how much hatred there is out there. How much fear there is of families like ours.
And so we work pretty tirelessly now with several different organizations to make sure that laws in many of these states never see the light of day because we know how devastating it is to live with the threat, each and every day that some social worker is going to knock on your door and take your baby from you. This is the kind of discrimination, and really all out persecution that many gay families are dealing with across the United States, and it has to stop, it has to stop.