Couple advocates for LGBT acceptance through new ad campaign

The couple is working with the Beyond I Do campaign to raise awareness for LGBT.

April 18, 2018, 10:12 AM

A married couple from Michigan is fighting LGBT discrimination by getting involved with a new acceptance campaign called "Beyond I Do."

Krista and Jami Contreras told ABC News they have dealt with unavoidable instances of discrimination in their own community, despite their best efforts and the pair continues to struggle.

PHOTO: Jami and Krista Contreras with their two children in Michigan.
Jami and Krista Contreras with their two children in Michigan.
ABC News

"We took as many measures as we could to avoid discrimination for our family," Krista Contreras said. "And we're still experiencing it."

The mothers of two said they realized the problem facing them was impacting basic human rights three years ago when their newborn daughter, Bay, was turned away by a physician at her first doctors appointment.

"Another doctor walked in and then she said, 'your doctor prayed on it and decided she won't see you all today,'" Krista Contreras recalled.

PHOTO: Jami and Krista Contreras with their first child, Bay, who was born in 2015.
Jami and Krista Contreras with their first child, Bay, who was born in 2015.
WJBK

In an earlier interview with ABC News the couple's attorney, Dana Nessel confirmed that a colleague of their pediatrician Dr. Vesna Roi alerted them that Roi would not provide care for Bay.

Roi's office, Eastlake Pediatrics, didn’t immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

"We would share our story and they would tell us 'Well, that can't be legal, they can't do that,' and we looked into it," Jami Contreras said. To their shock and disappointment, Jami said, "We would have to inform them, 'No, it is legal.'"

The couple is working with the "Beyond I Do" Campaign to dispel misconceptions that LGBT Americans receive full equality along with the right to marry.

According to the campaign backed by The Gill Foundation and published by the Ad Council, the objective is to "encourage Americans to accept and express more empathy towards LGBT Americans who can legally be kicked out of their homes, fired from their jobs, or denied services, just because they’re LGBT."

Lisa Sherman, the Ad Council president and CEO of the nonprofit organization that provides public service advertising, said that this campaign, which officially launched on April 17, could help members of the LGBT community who are combating the lack of basic legal protections.

"You can be fired from your job, evicted from your home, and denied access to things like healthcare for you and your family," Sherman explained. She said their goal is "telling real stories of discrimination that people deal with every single day."

PHOTO: Jami Contreras and their 3-year-old daughter Bay in Michigan.
Jami Contreras and their 3-year-old daughter Bay in Michigan.
ABC News

In 2018 only 19 states and the District of Columbia have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations, the campaign stated.

"We need equal rights in every state," Krista Contreras said. Jami echoed her wife adding, "It's not enough until 50 states have discrimination laws."

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