Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell Chat

Kelli Carpenter O'Donnell's marriage to Rosie O'Donnell has made the pair one of the most high profile couples in the the fight for same-sex marriage. Kelli answers your questions regarding the pair's new business venture, their lives and role in the same-sex marriage debate.

Question: Why do this interview? What do you hope its impact can be?

— New York

Answer: I choose to do this interview for a few reasons. First, I believe that the gay community is at a cross-roads and this is our civil rights movement. It felt like it was time for me to speak and for my story to hopefully have some sort of impact on others. I also have started my new company and wanted others to learn about it.

Question First of all, I would like to congratulate you and Rosie for the stand that you have taken to keep your rights and freedom!!! How has your life changed since you have been public with your relationship with Rosie? — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Answer: Thank you for the congratulations. Getting married was truly amazing. My life has not changed too much since I have been more public with Rosie. Most people do not recognize me on a day to day basis if I am not standing next to her. I do feel a larger responsibility to the GLBT community and I want to represent them in a positive light.

Question: I was wondering what the children call you and Rosie, do they call you both mom? What do most children raised by a lesbian couple call the "dad" figure?

— Chillicothe, Ohio

Answer: There is no "dad" figure in our house; however, the kids are surrounded by their uncles and their grandfather as male role models.

Parker and Chelsea knew me before I became a parent in the household, so they both call me, Kelli. Blake and Vivi call me, momma and they call Rosie, more mama. Blake made up that name.

Question: My partner and I have been together for six years, we would like to have children, and however I have my doubts. How do people treat you and your children when they find out that you are lesbians? Thank you,

— Karen, Tampa, Fla. Answer: I understand your doubts, but also can tell you that the joys that children bring to your life far surpass any discrimination we have received. We live in a fairly accepting community here in New York so we are lucky. The most important thing is to have our voices heard as gay parents so that others can feel accepted.

Question I am very interested in finding out all I can about the Family Cruise Vacations you spoke about last night on 20/20. My partner and I would love to take our 11 year old daughter on a cruise such as this with other same sex parents. I look forward to any information you have to share. Thank you!

— Donna, Canada

Answer: The inaugural cruise departing on July 11 will truly be the gay and lesbian travel experience of the year. There will be a thousand gay families and their extended families/friends sailing out of NYC for a weeklong cruise to Florida and the Bahamas. We will offer top notch entertainment plus a fully supervised kids program on-board. For more information please call our office at 866 732 6822 or visit our Web site at: www.rfamilyvacations.com. Don't miss out on this experience!

Question Hi Kelli, I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration you are. I would like to know how to help with the fight against discrimination about same sex marriages?

— Chester, N.H.

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