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Couple feels forced to leave
Local couple feels forced to leave the area because of Virginia law that went into effect July 1, 2004.

 With a video camera and laptop, Suzanne Moe made a film about a local couple who feel forced to leave the state because of a law that prohibits contracts between people of the same sex.
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Date published: 1/9/2005

Law could cause them harm

Editor's note: The last names of the couple in this article are being withheld to protect them from repercussions.

Nearly 40 years ago, a Fredericksburg-area couple decided to share their hearts. Each knew they'd found the person they wanted to spend the rest of their lives with.

They remember the date--Jan. 14, 1966.

They remember their courtship--early morning bike rides and hours-long telephone conversations.

They bought a house and raised a child.

They worked hard and paid their taxes.

They nurtured friendships and went to church.

They never wanted to get married.

Never wanted to change the world.

Never wanted anything more than the gift of taking care of each other as they grew old together.

But on July 1, 2004, a law went into effect that made them fear they couldn't do that.

At least not in Virginia.

Because they're gay.

A love story

Barbara, 65, and Tibby, 66, met in high school in Salt Lake City, Utah. Though they were very different, a friendship formed.

After high school, they lost touch. Tibby got married and became a mother. Barbara moved around before going back to Salt Lake City.

After returning to Utah, Barbara began an art career and invited Tibby to see her work.

Their friendship grew. They fell in love.

Barbara and Tibby tell their story in a documentary by Fredericksburg artist Suzanne Moe.

"I never really loved the man I married," Tibby said in the film. "I know that now. I knew I was attracted to women. But what do you do about it?"

Tibby couldn't live a lie and sought a divorce from her husband.

Church leaders in Utah excommunicated her and worked with her former husband to take her daughter, Holly, from her. Instead of getting into a court battle, Tibby let Holly stay in Utah with her father.

Barbara, Tibby and her son, James, made their way to Virginia because a friend here knew a realt estate agent who could help them find a place to live.

Tibby became a teacher in Fairfax County; Barbara continued her art and became a mental health professional in the Fredericksburg area.

No one knew about their relationship.

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