AUSTIN -- Hundreds went to the State Capitol Monday morning to let lawmakers know when it comes to gay and lesbian issues, they believe changes in public policy must be made.
For Meghan Buchanan and her wife Lisa, their adopted son Emmett is the light of their world, but like hundreds of other lesbian and gay couples with children, that joy is mixed with frustration.
“My wife Lisa has legally adopted Emmett, but we cannot put her name on the birth certificate,” Buchanan said. “When he was born it said 'mother and father.' We don't have a father, we have a donor, so it just feels like we've been marginalized since the day he was born.”
It's a story Darla Desormes-Smith and her partner Shannon know all too well.
“We're trying to have him christened in our own faith, and the church is not recognizing our adoption,” Desormes-Smith said.
Their son Tuvia is now seven months old.
“We don't feel like he should be discriminated against because of his parents,” Smith said.
Under Texas law, gay parents cannot both be listed on supplemental birth certificate forms for adoptive children. Those forms can only have the names of a mother a female, and a father -- a male.
A bill filed by Rep. Rafael Anchia would change that, but opponents say the proposal is an attack on mothers and fathers.
“This bill is about giving homosexual groups and individuals special rights, but it actually affects everyone's birth certificate moving forward,” said Jonathan Saenz, the president of Texas Values. “So I think people will be shocked there's a bill that would eliminate 'mother' and 'father' references from birth certificates.”
Fifteen bills were filed this session that deal with issues like accurate birth certificates for all adopted children, employment discrimination, and lesbian and gay marriage.
“It's the start of a process that this legislation will continue to be filed until it's passed,” said Chuck Smith, head of Equality Texas. “There are a number of issues that directly impact the lives of lesbian gay bisexual and transgendered Texans.”
State Representative Mary Gonzales of El Paso says she was open about her sexuality during her campaign and believes issues affecting the LGBT must be dealt with.
“I think already we're going to see some changes,” Gonzalez said. “One of the reasons I decided to be out was I heard a good quote, 'If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.'”
After the rally, the Texas Equality members went and spoke with lawmakers inside the State Capitol.
Saenz and others say when it comes to issues like gay marriage, Texans will not allow it to become law.