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Kasey is 10 years old. When the New Jersey State Senate voted against same-sex marriage on Jan. 7, he was devastated. “We tried to buoy him and say, ‘It’s another step in the process and it’s not over yet,’ ” said Karen Nicholson-McFadden, one of Kasey’s mothers.
In fact, Garden State Equality, the New Jersey gay-rights organization that invited Kasey to speak, quickly told reporters they would pursue the issue through the judiciary system. It will be familiar territory for the Nicholson-McFaddens, who vow to press on — be it through rallies or lawsuits.
For as long as Kasey can remember, Marcye and Karen Nicholson-McFadden have been petitioning the State of New Jersey for the right to marry. So while much of Kasey’s free time is spent on typical preteen activities — in-line skating, swim team and soccer practice — some of it is spent appearing in advertising campaigns and events organized by Garden State Equality. So many of that organization’s 64,000 members have children that the group provides day care and activities for teenagers during its events.
In 2008 about 116,000 same-sex couples across the country were raising a total of about 250,000 children under age 18, according to an analysis of Census data by Gary J. Gates, a demographer of the gay and lesbian population at the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, law school.
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