Meet Arizona Families: David Schintzius and Geoff Guidera

When David and Geoff first met in the summer of 2006 in San Francisco, they were both enjoying America’s favorite pastime, a baseball game. “We had been set up on a blind date, and I suggested we go see the Giants play at AT&T Park,” David said, “For me, I experienced the proverbial ‘love at first sight’.”

“It was Cap Night at the ball park,” Geoff said. “So I thought, if things don’t work out, I will at least get a Giants cap!”

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David and Geoff began going on frequent dates after their initial meeting, and both felt an immediate connection. “Things picked up between the two of us right away,” Geoff explained.  When Geoff decided to attend Grad School and get his MBA at University of Chicago, and David took a new position with a major Chicago-based corporation, things seemed to fall into place. They moved to Chicago together in July 2007. “We knew early on that having a family was something we both wanted,” David explained. Geoff did the research and found a wonderfully supportive network of providers in Illinois to enable their dream to become a reality.

Eager to build a life together, Geoff and David got engaged on Valentine’s Day, 2008. They began making moves to plan their wedding right away! On January 2, 2009, the couple was married at their home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where marriage for same-sex couples is legal. “It was such an amazing way to celebrate the New Year!”
Geoff gushed, “Most of our immediate family was with us to witness our special day.”

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At a small fireside ceremony in their living room, the room aglow from candles everywhere, David and Geoff vowed to love and cherish each other for all of their lives. “A Reverend officiated the ceremony, and my sister played the ukulele and sang ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ as we walked down from upstairs,” Geoff described, “It was truly a perfect day.”  David even donned the Giants baseball cap they received on the night of their first date.

The couple celebrated their newlywed bliss in a wonderful way–by welcoming two twin baby girls into their family. Their family also includes David’s elder daughter, Carolyn, from a previous marriage. Their twins, Emma and Paige, are now four, and complete the family of 5. While Carolyn calls Geoff, F2, for Father 2.  The twins call Geoff, “Awesome Dad,” his choice and David, “Bluey Dad,” a long story. “It’s their sweet way of calling each of us dad, but creating a distinction.” David explained.

Since their nuptials and the growth of their family, the couple has settled down in Arizona, where David accepted a job offer.
Though their marriage was legal in the state of Massachusetts, they’re treated as strangers by the state of Arizona.

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Arizona families like David and Geoff’s face an immeasurable amount of challenges. “We are legally married, we raise and provide for our daughters–and yet we are still treated as less than by the state of Arizona.” Geoff said. But for David and Geoff, Arizona is home. They’ve built their lives, raised a family and advanced their careers here. Moving elsewhere so their marriage can be recognized is an unfair choice for any couple to have to make.

“It is awful that we are expected to choose between providing a financially stable and secure life for our growing daughters, or living somewhere that our marriage is honored,” David said, “It is a choice most couples will never have to make.”

David, Geoff, and their daughters are a constant reminder of why marriage matters to all Arizona families. “We want our daughters to understand and see that our relationship, our family status, is no different – -no better or lesser than anyone else’s.” Geoff explained.

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