Councilmember Navarro's Personal Connection to Same-Sex Marriage Law
Montgomery County Councilmember joined Casa de Maryland’s Familia es Familia campaign that pushes the passage of both same-sex marriage and the Dream Act.
For Nancy Navarro, vice-president of the Montgomery County Council and representative for Wheaton and parts of Silver Spring, legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland is about familia. She recently spoke at a rally for Casa de Maryland, the state’s largest immigrant advocacy group, that brought together supporters of same-sex marriage and the Dream Act under the campaign title “Familia es familia.”
Navarro’s brother Pedro is gay, she said.
“Familia es familia resonated with me,” she said. “After talking to my brother about it, I asked him if it was ok for me to relay the personal family experience and he said, of course.”
Navarro said that her brother, who used to live in Maryland but now lives in Austin, came out to her and her sister 17 years ago.
She said organizing Maryland Latinos around gay marriage is “about the broad philosophical belief that family is family no matter what and it’s also about the practical issues.” Things like health insurance for a gay partner, being able to visit a sick partner at the hospital and the legal protections of divorce when a relationship ends.
“I have definitely heard many stories and also talking to my brother about many things and his friends,” Navarro said.
It makes sense for the Latino community to support gay marriage, she said, because “family is such a strong presence in our lives."
“There tends to be a very distant embrace in the communities of color with regards to gay issues,” said Navarro, “but when you start talking about it with people in the community or with family members and you begin to really focus on the fact that the fabric of the family is so important, when you start talking about it in those terms it changes everything, it changes the focus.”
The passage of both the Dream Act and same-sex marriage will be left to Maryland voters in November. The Dream Act would allow college-bound illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition if they have graduated from a Maryland high school and their families pay state taxes, among other requirements.