Hope and a prayer: a letter to my family

Dear family and friends,

I see that Minnesotans will be voting, again … on my family, my rights, the value of my life. Imagine if your relationships were periodically subjected to these politically-motivated orgies of hate. 

Marriage is a civil right. There are 1,138 federal benefits, rights and responsibilities associated with it. Roy served honorably in the United States Coast Guard. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act denies us access to the basic Medicare, Social Security, disability and veteran’s benefits earned.

We’ve been together for more than thirty-five years, so I guess a “seal of approval” from the government isn’t our highest priority. However, it would send a huge message to those young kids struggling with coming to terms with their own sexuality. Our relationship is bullet proof. Their insecurities are a matter of life and death.

This latest cycle of anti-gay ballot measures is probably going to be among the last. The enormity of the shift in public opinion, particularly as younger people reach voting age, will soon make these attempts to codify bigotry seem quaint and stupid.

Historically it’s been shown that the better someone knows a gay person, the more likely they are to support their rights. Before you vote, please consider a couple points …

Byron Williams, MA, Pastor of the Resurrection Community Church in Oakland, CA:

“There is no such thing as traditional, biblically based marriage – at least in the Western hemisphere. I know of no heterosexual couple living in the United States who have a marriage that is remotely similar to what is found within the Bible. Biblical marriage viewed women as property; based almost exclusively on procreation.”

The American Psychological Association wrote in its Aug. 11, 2010 press release “American Psychological Association Reiterates Support for Same-sex Marriage,” available on www.apa.org:

“Research has shown that marriage provides substantial psychological and physical health benefits due to the moral, economic and social support extended to married couples. Conversely, recent empirical evidence has illustrated the harmful psychological effect of policies restricting marriage rights for same-sex couples. Additionally, children raised by same-sex couples have been shown to be on par with the children of opposite-sex couples in their psychological adjustment, cognitive abilities and social functioning.”

David Brooks, Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times, wrote in his Nov. 23, 2003 column “The Power of Marriage,” available on www.nytimes.com:

“The conservative course is not to banish gay people from making such commitments. It is to expect that they make such commitments. We shouldn’t just allow gay marriage. We should insist on gay marriage. We should regard it as scandalous that two people could claim to love each other and not want to sanctify their love with marriage and fidelity.”

Here are 14 Steps That Will Evolve Your Views On Gay Marriage.

With love,

jim

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