Ruth-Davis Family Legal Expenses

$51,352 of $77,000 goal

Raised by 1,172 people in 38 months
We have an upcoming fundraiser ! Please visit LoveIsLoveLuau.eventbrite.com

We are the Ruth-Davis family from Avondale, Pa. We are a family of four: 2 Dads, Keith and David, and 2 happy adopted boys who have completed our lives together!

NBCphiladelphia: 'Not At All About a Fence': Same-Sex Couple Targeted in Anti-Gay Vandalism


http://www.people.com/article/same-sex-couple-anti-gay-vandalism-devastating-lawsuit

http://instinctmagazine.com/post/anti-gay-vandalism-case-may-be-over-lawsuit-broke-bank

Long story short, five of our surrounding neighbors have banded together to attempt to force us to remove a fence on our property and in turn would force us to leave our home, and we feel it is being done because we are two gay men with kids.  Since moving into our home, we have dealt with this frivolous lawsuit, as well as harassment from neighbors, and multiple times someone has vandalized our home. With these accounts put together our situation has become too large for us to handle on our own.  Now, we need your help.

We need help paying off Legal Fees, which have amounted up to $77,000, to fight the lawsuit that had been filed against us.  The suit was filed by members of our neighborhood and the suit has cost us a great amount financially, and emotionally.  Sadly, this lawsuit has costs us our entire life savings, and even now after winning our case we may still have no choice but to leave our home behind. 

We are happy to announce that the trial is complete and the judge has returned a ruling in our favor. The first sentence of the judge’s decision even states “This case is not at all about a fence”. We are now waiting out a 30 day period to see if the neighbors decide to appeal the judge’s ruling.

The Whole Story: We, Keith and David Ruth-Davis, got custody of our boys in 2011 and quickly our small house was clearly no longer large enough for our growing family. In winter of 2014 we moved to a larger home in Pennsylvania, to a neighborhood and home that was advertised as having no HOA, and no restrictions. We did all our homework, we spoke to our realtors and the township zoning office before we moved in and put up an upscale vinyl 6 foot privacy fence on our property to protect our children and 4 dogs.

Our home and the fence

The fence took over 3 weeks to put in place. After the fence was fully installed and we moved into the home in December 2014, we had many neighbors stop by to welcome us and tell us how nice the house looked after we spent a substantial amount to fix it up. Many complimented the fence!

After the winter one set of neighbors decided to join with another neighbor and filed a lawsuit against us in March of 2015, stating that the fence had to come down at our cost.  The neighbors were aware that without the fence we would not be able to stay in our current home due to safety concerns for our children and dogs.

Our home is located behind the neighborhood


Due to the nature of our children’s biological parents (both are extremely dangerous heroin addicts and dealers) a security fence as well as many other safety precautions, such as special locks, security system and a surveillance system were necessary for us to be able to live in the house securely. All of these concerns had been addressed with the neighbors. We tried to find a compromise, such as planting trees and shrubs along the fence line to mask its visibility but no compromise was acceptable to these individuals. We felt they were irrational and strongly unwilling to compromise.

These neighbors attempted to use an Architecture Committee that has now been proven in court to be defunct and had no documentation of functioning since the neighborhood began, which had already been broken by more than a dozen other homes in the 26 home neighborhood over the 15 years that the development has been in existence, as a grounds to bring the lawsuit against us. We feel this “informal verbal” system that the neighbors use to run this committee has been used to selectively enforce against us.

View of our home and fence from the neighborhood


Over the course of the last 15 months due to this lawsuit being brought against us we have had to face and fund lawyers, court time, depositions, and investigations. In addition to the lawsuit we have had to deal with regular harassment (both written and verbal). We are forced to hear the slander spoken by these neighbors spread through the neighborhood. Also, from January thru April of this year, our neighbors would call the police on a regular basis and falsely report that our dogs were outside barking, which would result in the police arriving at our home to question us.  Each time the police arrived we were able to prove that the dogs were not outside barking, by producing our surveillance video.

Beginning in June of last year, someone has been vandalizing our home and property:

-  Our garage doors were spray painted with the words “Get Out Fags”
"Get Out Fags" graffiti


-  Our fence was cut down in the middle of the night on two different occasions
Fence vandalism

-   Our security ground sensors for the alarm system have been destroyed five times


The police have investigated, but have not been able to prove who has been committing these acts of violence against us.

Over the last 15 months, it eventually became very clear to us that this was never about a fence, it is about us being a homosexual couple with children. 

During the trial, one neighbor testified to yelling in the direction of our property. Later in the proceeding additional testimony was made that one of these neighbors has yelled homophobic slurs in the direction of our property, our children and our dogs.

We are a quiet 2 father family who keeps to themselves and we are being targeted by a group that would like us and our fence gone, and in our opinion, are doing what they can to get us to leave.  This has affected our family emotionally, and financially as well as our children’s well-being due to their confusion, anger, and mistrust over the vandalism in addition to this case making it difficult for them to make friends after becoming the “talk of the school bus”.

This frivolous lawsuit has eaten away at our funds, time, and most of our business (our only source of income). Now, we have won the case against us but our funds have run dry, if we cannot finish paying our attorneys for this lawsuit, as well as what we now owe on back payments on the house (money that has been eaten by the lawsuit), we will not be able to fight any further legal actions against us and we will have to leave our home. Then, even after winning the lawsuit, these neighbors will have won anyway.

We want to fight this, we want to show these individuals, that they cannot use the legal system to selectively enforce their will on others or to attempt to evict people that they don’t agree with from a neighborhood. We just wanted to provide a nice safe home for our children, and we don’t even feel safe to let them outside our home anymore. We need help to set things right!

The option to start a fund did not come lightly, and any contribution made no matter how big or small is appreciated and our family is grateful! All donations will go towards paying off the legal fees incurred in the past year as well as any future legal fees.

We will keep this page updated on the lawsuit and any other details of the case going forward.

To see an online copy of the judges ruling on our case visit: https://www.scribd.com/doc/316358666/Fence-Decision-1#from_embed



Here are some links to news article that have been written about our story:

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/384124691.html

http://www.chestercounty.com/2016/06/14/114020/couple-embroiled-in-legal-issue-with-neighbors

http://www.chestercounty.com/2016/06/28/115499/the-fence-stays-judge-rules-in-favor-of-avondale-couple

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20160621/judge-allows-couple-to-keep-pool-fence

http://www.dailylocal.com/general-news/20160611/lawsuit-over-fence-roils-new-garden-development

http://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com/article/SC/20160621/NEWS/160629995

http://www.epgn.com/news/local/10639-judge-security-fence-for-lgbt-household-can-remain

http://www.theprogressnews.com/news/state/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-gay-couple-over-pool-fence/article_21615f25-76c6-5e31-8360-358833fb1503.html

Gay Star News: Couples ideal home vandalised

Vista Today: Community rallies together support avondale lgbt couple

http://www.newnownext.com/despite-giant-get-out-fags-graffiti-neighbors-swear-dispute-with-gay-couple-isnt-homophobic/07/2016/

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We would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who attended a supported the Love is Love Luau fundraiser party last night! It was a large success and we owe that to all our supporters! We are overcome with emotion and gratitude by how much support we have received and we owe it to you!

A special thanks is also owed to Rachel Stevenson and the LGBT Equality Alliance a non-profit organization that helped us our tremendously! Information can be found about the work they do at http://www.lgbteachesco.org/

Thank you all so much for your continued support!
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Our Love Is Love Luau fundraiser event is this Friday!

Please Share with your family and friends so everyone can join to support family, community, and equality!

We will have DJ Sal, Food from Uncle B's BBQ, a raffle, and other exciting entertainment including a guest appearance by the Chester County Pride Queen!

Music, Food, Fun, sounds like a good start to the weekend!

Visit:
www.LoveIsLoveLuau.eventbrite.com
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Upcoming Luau and Facebook Page!

A quick update for all who have stood with us!

Our GoFundMe has reached an amazing amount but we are still $27k short of our needed goal. Unfortunately, it has been a rough summer for our family but the Love is Love Luau fundraiser to benefit the GoFundMe supported by The LGBT Equality Alliance is in less than two weeks! Share the event with friends, family, and on facebook so we can make this event a success!

Just copy and paste:
www.LoveIsLoveLuau.EventBrite.com

https://www.facebook.com/events/282588312100915/

As well to better communicate with our supporters we have put together a Facebook page with information about the Luau, as well as any updates on our story or about future events that may interest you in our area! Give it a like!

Copy and Paste to Visit:
https://www.facebook.com/MoreThanAFence/

Thank you all for standing with us!
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A reminder that our fundraiser event is coming up on Friday September 9th from 6 -9 pm!

If you plan on attending please visit the EventBrite site and purchase tickets. This will allow us to have a proper head count for the event! Thank you for your support!

www.loveisloveluau.eventbrite.com
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Read a Previous Update
Carey Buck
36 months ago

Hi Keith and David! I think another commenter had a fantastic idea...lets have a party at your house. We will all bring a dish (and a donation!) We are a lesbian couple living in Oxford and I wish you were our neighbors! Our neighbors are awesome! Please feel free to friend me on Facebook. My wife and I will help get this party/fundraiser going and we will all show your bigoted, homophobic neighbors that THEY are the outcasts in this world! Keep up the fight! We got your backs and I'm sure all of our neighbors do too! Carey and Kathy

+ Read More
Joe Raffa
38 months ago

I'm willing to stand with you. I'm happy to watch your house or even help you with your repairs. Do not let evil win

+ Read More
Lori Chambers Gillespie
38 months ago

Have you considered contacting the local news stations? I'm so sorry this is happening to your family? You should consider having cameras installed to capture any future vandalism should it occur.

+ Read More
Kimberly Greeley Jones
37 months ago

I had written a previous comment asking for validation of this account. I have received it and FULLY SUPPORT this account and cause. I remain sickened that this is happening in our area and we should all come together to support this family any way we can. God Bless!!

+ Read More
Marcy O'Neill Davidson
38 months ago

Keith and David, I have witnessed the love you have for your children and admire the loving and dedicated family life that you strive to provide for them. Keep powering through, with the help of all of these wonderful friends and supporters...I will continue to pray for all of you and share this information so that others may help you stand up against these ridiculous people. Stay strong and know your love matters more to your children than anything.... Marcy O'Neill-Davidson

+ Read More
Madeline Monique Carter
38 months ago
7
7

We are praying for your family No one should have to live life like this!

+ Read More
C Michael Barber
36 months ago
6
6

Hi I'm Michael from Virginia - I have been an activist all of my adult life. I strongly suggest that you contact Lambda Legal in NY City, as well as, the ACLU in Pennsylvania. Get someone bigger than you to fight your fight and take care of the haters. Since you won the case you should be able to counter sue for legal costs - it could certainly be proven to be a frivolous law suite. Best of luck. M+

+ Read More
Abby Michelle
36 months ago
5
5

I'm so very sorry that you are going through such a terrible ordeal! I wish you could come live in my area. Those people don't deserve such a wonderful family.

+ Read More
Lor Hatch
37 months ago
3
3

Don't be discouraged! What goes around comes around. I know it's hard to ignore the hatred you have been shown. Try to rise above it and don't let it touch your heart. Move forward with only love inside. Those who plot against you now will also be shown the hatred that they have foisted on you. Perhaps it is time to do what my brother John suggested. Love, Aunt Lor xo

+ Read More
Rosie Bones
38 months ago
3
3

I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. Please find strenght in the fact that so many more support you.

+ Read More
Mark Dammann Ungemach
38 months ago
3
3

I am so sorry to hear about this. My partner and I live in the next township, Franklin Township. I have shared your information with many others.

+ Read More
36 months ago
2
2

Hi, Keith & David!... I read the Yahoo news article. I don't know about PA, but in VA, Covenants & Restrictions have to be recorded at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office like a Deed, Will, Boundary Survey, or Subdivision Plat. It sounds like this "letter" is just that, a letter. Find out if PA also requires C&R's to be a recorded document. If yes, then check to see if this "letter" was ever recorded as a C&R. If it wasn't, then you may be able to get this suit thrown out of court... If you ask the Judge to throw this suit out, ALSO ask him to rule that these people pay you back all of the money you've spent on lawyers & court fees. AND ask the Judge to rule that if these people want you to move, then they have to buy your house at it's current market price... Having said all of this, as a Christian, I think homosexuality is wrong, but ALSO as a Christian, it is wrong to assault someone. Both of you have been harassed, vandalized, & verbally assaulted by your neighbors who probably profess to be "Christians". It is my fear that whether or not you win the suit, this will escalate to a physical assault. That's why if these people want you to move, then they need to buy your property at current market value. Whether or not you decide to move, I wish you well. I WILL be contributing to your Go-Fund-Me. It won't be much, but it will help. AGAPE

+ Read More
Dennis Sherbondy
36 months ago
2
2

I will pray for you and your lover that you love but stop having sex and I will pray that your neighbors stop vandalizing.I do not know if you believe in God or read the bible so I pray Jesus saves you

+ Read More
Nikki Vecchiarelli Graham
36 months ago
2
2

Such wonderful news! Light in an often dark world! Love wins! I have been sharing your story far and wide, and will continue to do so. A friend of mine and I even sent a letter to Ellen. ;-) We live in Kennett Square, so very close to you. I was astonished and disgusted that our community could be so horrific and hateful, but this outpouring of love and support is providing hope. There are so very many of us who are fighting with you. I cannot wait to meet you in person and show your neighbors what a loving, supportive community looks like! ~Nikki Graham and family

+ Read More
Bev Booth-Jones
36 months ago
2
2

I'm sorry that you live in a neighborhood with criminals and cowardly bullies who are hiding behind a pretty weak screen. Your home is gorgeous and the boys are lucky to have parents who love them. Let's have a party, as Carey suggested, and we can smother the meanies with peace and good humor.

+ Read More
38 months ago
2
2

I am so sorry your family is going through this. The is not representative of the majority of people in this community. Please keep us informed and if there are ways we can help

+ Read More
Edwin Vega
36 months ago
1
1

I donated earlier and wanted to ceck out luau info but you can't click the link in the picture above. Could you isolate the link as well? I think it could make it easier for folks to check out.

+ Read More
Bar Hill
36 months ago
1
1

If anyone has any doubts about the nature of this fence, please google: www.google.com/maps/@39.8186516,-75.744495,98m/data=!3m1!1e3 The issue here can not be the fence. The house is far to isolated as to offend anyone. Also, use the google app for walking the streets that could possibly view the fence. The judges ruling is a must-read as well.

+ Read More
Chrissy Williams
36 months ago
1
1

Your home is beautiful and I love the choice of fence. It holds up much better than wood and looks classy. I adore the tree lined driveway. It is such a shame these neighbors chose to harass your family vs. warmly welcoming you. I wish you the very best and hope the appeal does not happen, so you can get back to providing a safe and loving home for your family. Best wishes xoxo

+ Read More
John Hollywood
36 months ago
1
1

Hi Keith and David, FYI we have shared your story @gaypopbuzz and donated $50.00. We've encouraged our readers to do the same. Your story is also on our blog. http://www.gaypopbuzz.com/homophobic-graffiti-sprayed-gay-couples-garage/

+ Read More

$51,352 of $77,000 goal

Raised by 1,172 people in 38 months
Created May 27, 2016
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CH
$10
Charles Haver
1 month ago

I was moved by their story. I hope they make it through their ordeal.

$20
Osvaldo Irizarry
33 months ago
RF
$5
Richard Fry
33 months ago
DF
$25
Dylan Furlano
33 months ago
ER
$25
Eric Roe
33 months ago
WA
$25
William Alexander
33 months ago

Texas families support you!

$25
Anonymous
34 months ago
RT
$100
ralph tullie
34 months ago

keep on keepin' on..!

MB
$200
Melissa Billings
34 months ago

We're sorry we couldn't make your event, but we are sending our love and hope that this helps you keep moving forward! Love wins!

SH
$100
Susan Hanson
34 months ago

Only With Love will the world become a better place - I'm standing with the people who are trying to spread love to help make it so.

Carey Buck
36 months ago

Hi Keith and David! I think another commenter had a fantastic idea...lets have a party at your house. We will all bring a dish (and a donation!) We are a lesbian couple living in Oxford and I wish you were our neighbors! Our neighbors are awesome! Please feel free to friend me on Facebook. My wife and I will help get this party/fundraiser going and we will all show your bigoted, homophobic neighbors that THEY are the outcasts in this world! Keep up the fight! We got your backs and I'm sure all of our neighbors do too! Carey and Kathy

+ Read More
Joe Raffa
38 months ago

I'm willing to stand with you. I'm happy to watch your house or even help you with your repairs. Do not let evil win

+ Read More
Lori Chambers Gillespie
38 months ago

Have you considered contacting the local news stations? I'm so sorry this is happening to your family? You should consider having cameras installed to capture any future vandalism should it occur.

+ Read More
Kimberly Greeley Jones
37 months ago

I had written a previous comment asking for validation of this account. I have received it and FULLY SUPPORT this account and cause. I remain sickened that this is happening in our area and we should all come together to support this family any way we can. God Bless!!

+ Read More
Marcy O'Neill Davidson
38 months ago

Keith and David, I have witnessed the love you have for your children and admire the loving and dedicated family life that you strive to provide for them. Keep powering through, with the help of all of these wonderful friends and supporters...I will continue to pray for all of you and share this information so that others may help you stand up against these ridiculous people. Stay strong and know your love matters more to your children than anything.... Marcy O'Neill-Davidson

+ Read More
Madeline Monique Carter
38 months ago
7
7

We are praying for your family No one should have to live life like this!

+ Read More
C Michael Barber
36 months ago
6
6

Hi I'm Michael from Virginia - I have been an activist all of my adult life. I strongly suggest that you contact Lambda Legal in NY City, as well as, the ACLU in Pennsylvania. Get someone bigger than you to fight your fight and take care of the haters. Since you won the case you should be able to counter sue for legal costs - it could certainly be proven to be a frivolous law suite. Best of luck. M+

+ Read More
Abby Michelle
36 months ago
5
5

I'm so very sorry that you are going through such a terrible ordeal! I wish you could come live in my area. Those people don't deserve such a wonderful family.

+ Read More
Lor Hatch
37 months ago
3
3

Don't be discouraged! What goes around comes around. I know it's hard to ignore the hatred you have been shown. Try to rise above it and don't let it touch your heart. Move forward with only love inside. Those who plot against you now will also be shown the hatred that they have foisted on you. Perhaps it is time to do what my brother John suggested. Love, Aunt Lor xo

+ Read More
Rosie Bones
38 months ago
3
3

I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. Please find strenght in the fact that so many more support you.

+ Read More
Mark Dammann Ungemach
38 months ago
3
3

I am so sorry to hear about this. My partner and I live in the next township, Franklin Township. I have shared your information with many others.

+ Read More
36 months ago
2
2

Hi, Keith & David!... I read the Yahoo news article. I don't know about PA, but in VA, Covenants & Restrictions have to be recorded at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office like a Deed, Will, Boundary Survey, or Subdivision Plat. It sounds like this "letter" is just that, a letter. Find out if PA also requires C&R's to be a recorded document. If yes, then check to see if this "letter" was ever recorded as a C&R. If it wasn't, then you may be able to get this suit thrown out of court... If you ask the Judge to throw this suit out, ALSO ask him to rule that these people pay you back all of the money you've spent on lawyers & court fees. AND ask the Judge to rule that if these people want you to move, then they have to buy your house at it's current market price... Having said all of this, as a Christian, I think homosexuality is wrong, but ALSO as a Christian, it is wrong to assault someone. Both of you have been harassed, vandalized, & verbally assaulted by your neighbors who probably profess to be "Christians". It is my fear that whether or not you win the suit, this will escalate to a physical assault. That's why if these people want you to move, then they need to buy your property at current market value. Whether or not you decide to move, I wish you well. I WILL be contributing to your Go-Fund-Me. It won't be much, but it will help. AGAPE

+ Read More
Dennis Sherbondy
36 months ago
2
2

I will pray for you and your lover that you love but stop having sex and I will pray that your neighbors stop vandalizing.I do not know if you believe in God or read the bible so I pray Jesus saves you

+ Read More
Nikki Vecchiarelli Graham
36 months ago
2
2

Such wonderful news! Light in an often dark world! Love wins! I have been sharing your story far and wide, and will continue to do so. A friend of mine and I even sent a letter to Ellen. ;-) We live in Kennett Square, so very close to you. I was astonished and disgusted that our community could be so horrific and hateful, but this outpouring of love and support is providing hope. There are so very many of us who are fighting with you. I cannot wait to meet you in person and show your neighbors what a loving, supportive community looks like! ~Nikki Graham and family

+ Read More
Bev Booth-Jones
36 months ago
2
2

I'm sorry that you live in a neighborhood with criminals and cowardly bullies who are hiding behind a pretty weak screen. Your home is gorgeous and the boys are lucky to have parents who love them. Let's have a party, as Carey suggested, and we can smother the meanies with peace and good humor.

+ Read More
38 months ago
2
2

I am so sorry your family is going through this. The is not representative of the majority of people in this community. Please keep us informed and if there are ways we can help

+ Read More
Edwin Vega
36 months ago
1
1

I donated earlier and wanted to ceck out luau info but you can't click the link in the picture above. Could you isolate the link as well? I think it could make it easier for folks to check out.

+ Read More
Bar Hill
36 months ago
1
1

If anyone has any doubts about the nature of this fence, please google: www.google.com/maps/@39.8186516,-75.744495,98m/data=!3m1!1e3 The issue here can not be the fence. The house is far to isolated as to offend anyone. Also, use the google app for walking the streets that could possibly view the fence. The judges ruling is a must-read as well.

+ Read More
Chrissy Williams
36 months ago
1
1

Your home is beautiful and I love the choice of fence. It holds up much better than wood and looks classy. I adore the tree lined driveway. It is such a shame these neighbors chose to harass your family vs. warmly welcoming you. I wish you the very best and hope the appeal does not happen, so you can get back to providing a safe and loving home for your family. Best wishes xoxo

+ Read More
John Hollywood
36 months ago
1
1

Hi Keith and David, FYI we have shared your story @gaypopbuzz and donated $50.00. We've encouraged our readers to do the same. Your story is also on our blog. http://www.gaypopbuzz.com/homophobic-graffiti-sprayed-gay-couples-garage/

+ Read More
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