Names: Scott Ruppert and Robert Richendollar (Pictured above with their son, Riley)
Ages: 44 and 44
Hometown: Jacksonville, FL
Occupation: Co-own Wholesale Business
Why I Found Them at The NEM:
Scott, Robert, and Riley are not legally a family. The above portrait might look like a loving couple with a child they are raising together—your typical nuclear family and the American ideal, but technically it’s a picture of one parent, one innocent, and one stranger. That’s how the state of Florida sees them, which is why they are speaking out.
They first started getting active to encourage people to Vote No on 2, Florida’s ban on adoption by same-sex couples. Speaking out for equality is vital to this family’s functioning. Scott and Robert told me they’ve been together 19 years, but they still have to bring attention to the fact that “we are a family.”
What They’d Change in America:
Scott and Robert both agreed that healthcare is a big problem in our country, telling me “there’s no reason” everyone in the nation shouldn’t have it. They highlighted the fact that they have many friends who live in Canada and Europe who have great coverage. Americans should be eligible for the same kind of reliable coverage.