Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Letter to my Conservative Friends -- All 4 of you

Dear super conservative/religious friends (there are 4 of you I can think of off hand), 

The election is in 2 days, and I know you will vote yes to keep the definition of marriage between a woman and a man.  If you voted no, it wouldn't affect you.  In fact, it wouldn't affect me much either, not yet anyway.  

I don't anticipate change your "yes vote" to a "no vote," but I want you to hear me out.

These are the things I have learned from you in the last 28 years:

1. Jesus is an important dude.  He is your number one.
2. We may disagree on politics, but I've never doubted your love for me.
3. You've accepted me for me.
3a. at least on the surface.
4. We should love everyone.  Jesus did.  
5. Family is the second most important thing (behind God).

3 of the 4 of you (my conservative friends) are married to opposite sex partners.  I've never been married, so I have a few questions for you:

1. What do you love most about your partner?
2. When did you know you were in love and that this person was your soulmate?
3. Why did you decide to get married?  
4. What makes your marriage work?  
5. What's the best thing about your marriage?

For the naysayers or those who don't "get it" when I talk about why the marriage amendment is important to me, consider this:

1. What if someone told you that you couldn't marry the person you love?
2. What if everywhere you went, there were billboards, yard signs, television and radio ads, and people telling you that the way you love is wrong, a sin, gross, or not as equal love to theirs?
2a. Or lets say even less blatant things... such as the constant reminders of the normalcy of heterosexual relationships.  (i.e. "his and hers" everything).
3. Have you ever been scared to hold the hand of your partner in public?
4. Have you ever been scared to talk about your partner at work, because if you out yourself, you have no idea how people will react or treat you differently?
5. Have you ever been harassed by someone (a stranger, an acquaintance, a family member) when you were with your partner?

Here is why I am voting no:

1. Because I was taught (by you, by my mom, by school, and by society) that everyone is equal. 
1a. I realize that not every is treated equally, but that doesn't mean we are not equal.
2. Because someday, I want to experience the happiness of standing up in front of my family and friends marrying the person that I love -- just like you did or will do one day.
3. Because I want to have a family- you know- a beautiful wife and kids.  If one of us gets hurt, I want the other to be able to make medical decisions.  
4. Because I want my kids to know that they will grow up in a loving household, with two hot moms,  in a community that does not and never did discriminate.

I've been wanting to do more for the "Vote No" campaign, but I'm terrified.  I fear that I am not strong enough to call random people and ask them to please not limit my freedom to marry.  I worry that I will cry as I feel my heart break to hear someone who's never met me-- tell me that my love isn't valid enough to be called marriage.  

You taught me those basic rules-- treat others how you want to be treated-- don't lie-- do your best-- and so on.  You've taught me the power of God and how important He is to you.  You've taught me the importance of loving one another and the blessing of community and family.

I want that love, that community and that family.  I have that, from a lot of people, but it wrenches at my heart that I don't have it from you.  I cry as I write this, because I think about how much I love each of you, and how yes, we can disagree from time to time... but this time, it's personal.  I feel like when you vote yes on Tuesday, you're telling me that you don't support me and my right to be happy and be in love like you have been.  It hurts so bad.  I wish it wasn't true.  

All my love,