Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Letter about Gay Marriage

Dear Senators,

I'm gay.  Does this scare you?  Probably not, because you don't know me.  And, when you think about it, why should it?   I'm anonymous to you.   However, you are not anonymous to me--you represent me.

I'm gay.  I'm also monogamous.  And spiritual.  Some say I'm also affable and even a little talented.  You represent me, but I represent a thousand others like me who struggle with the repression you have the power to change. 

I'm gay.  I'm 39.  I've been with my partner for 17 years.  We bought a home together, we've opened businesses together, we pay taxes and tolls like everyone else.  We are married in Massachusetts, but we are not married in New York.  We're not married federally.  How can this be?  How can I have a partner here and husband there?  How can rights only be right if you're on one side of a line?

I'm gay and I am not a threat to you;  I am a constituent.  I follow the laws and the rules.  I have heterosexual friends who do not have any children.  They can marry.  I have homosexual friends who DO have children--they cannot.   WHY?

I'm gay and the biggest question I ask you is Who Does It Hurt if our life together is recognized as a union by our government?  It's not as though there are a limited number of marriages being given out and our marriage would take away from someone else.  And even if that were the absurd case how can it be determined that the life we've built together is less-valuable to a government that benefits from our stability than, say, a quick hookup gone awry resulting in marriage?  Or a greencard marriage?  Or a forced or rushed marriage due to a pregnancy?

Any man and any woman can get married.  An 80-year-old can marry a 20-year-old.  Terminally ill people can marry.  Felons can marry.  Mentally unstable people can marry.  People can marry, divorce and then remarry.  If the only current requisite to issuing a marriage certificate is that Party A is XX and Party B is XY then there appears to be a misfire in the institutional synapses...

I understand your pressures.  You are a politician and you speak for a lot of people.  In order to continue speaking for people you need to tell the people what you think the people want to hear you say.  But you were also elected by the people because they trust that when it comes down to it you will make decisions that will be based on a clarity of truth, even if some of the people you speak for cannot see it.  

I saw a family walking out of a train station the other day.  They were gawking at a couple that got off the same train--holding hands.  The kids looked to their parents and said, "What's going on?"  The mother said, "They're holding hands."  One kid shouted, "but they're both boys!"  The mother and father looked at each other, not sure how to approach the subject or explain what they were all seeing to their children.  But then the older child said, "It's okay.  They're probably married."

And we all went on with our lives.

Michael Grant
Saratoga Springs

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful! I made my calls! SO excited!!!

    17 years?!? I don't think I realized it was that long--you were a baby when you got together! Mazel Tov!!!!