Nacogdoches same-sex couple comes back from lobbying in Austin

(Source: Veronica and Stina Herrera)
(Source: Veronica and Stina Herrera)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Hundreds lobbied for gay rights Monday at the State Capitol Building in Austin.

Included among that number was one East Texas same-sex couple that hopes will be heard for equality and civil rights. The married couple also wants to end discrimination.

Veronica and Stina Herrera traveled from Nacogdoches to Washington, D.C., two years ago to say "I do," and although they have a legal marriage license, they say there are still rights they want.

"I have to pay full price for her insurance," Veronica Herrera said. "So, that's money that we're losing there and now that she's pregnant I'm unable to add my child because they won't take our marriage license."

Monday, the couple joined the civil rights group Equality Texas for a day of lobbying in Austin.

They walked around the State Capitol to support civil rights bills like non-discrimination in the work place.

"A lot of people in Texas don't realize that we are still … it's perfectly legal to fire us for being gay for no other reason than being gay," Stina Herrera said.

With a baby on the way, they are also hoping for gay marriage rights that would include having both names on their child's birth certificate.

"Well, I'm hoping that one day hopefully in the near future we will be seen as married in the state because it's hurtful you know to have to same documentation as someone else but be treated completely differently," Stina Herrera said.

Although some may not see their situation as unfair, Stina and Veronica feel they have helped make a difference by standing up for gay rights. Discrimination in Texas may be an issue for the two but they say the Nacogdoches community has shown them a lot of support.

"We've been pretty blessed here in East Texas and that's why we plan to stay here because I mean we love Texas," Veronica Herrera said. "We don't want to abandon our home state just because some of them want to treat us unfairly."

The couple said they plan to join more gay rights equality groups to help put an end to marriage and work place discrimination.

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