Gay marriage legal in Maryland – thanks

(Katrina Stevens and Jeannie Yoon have enjoyed a supportive relationship for years.)

Dear Maryland:

I want to thank 52 percent of you from the bottom of my heart.

I am not gay. I am a straight woman who had every right to marry at the ripe old age of 21 and I did.

I got married in a church before God. Everyone approved. It didn’t matter that I was a high school drop out or that I didn’t have a clue who I was or what I wanted out of life.

Marriage was my right – even though I was an idiot.

I should note that I am also divorced and live with my cat, now.  So there’s that.

The reason I thank you is because I do have friends, and a brother, who are gay.

They’re not much different from my straight friends.  They work hard at jobs that provide varying levels of satisfaction for them. They worry about their finances, have creative outlets, follow the news, etc.

Oh – and they have feelings.

They know when they are being respected and, by default, disrespected. They feel it when loved ones and organizations turn their backs on them and, for the record, it hurts them deeply.

So thank you, 52 percent for showing my friends and family that you care about them- that you respect their humanity.

As for the 48 percent who voted against Question 6 and some who campaigned hard against it, well, I’m working to forgive you. I doubt your opposition is rooted in hate. It’s more likely rooted in fear.

Oh you can say you’re against it because the Bible says it’s wrong but you and I both know there’s lots of stuff in that book that we (YOU and I both) have discarded as bullocks years ago.  The only reason you’re holding on to that one line item is because it protects you from exposure.  I understand. You don’t want to say, “I don’t want gay marriage approved because it scares the shit out of me personally.” Because then you look like a yellow bellied sap sucker and folks will just tell you to get into therapy and work it out.

Maybe, if you opposed question 6, it might be because you really do believe that being gay means engaging all sorts of unholy acts. I guess it’s possible that gay sex can be kind of icky but if you think about it, straight sex can be pretty unsavory, too. No matter what your orientation – bumping uglies is a bit bizarre.

Maybe you imagine crazy sex orgies or the contaminating of innocent children but I put it to you that those activities show up in the news more often attached to powerful straight guys and priests than anyone else.

So why aren’t you uncomfortable with them? I know I am.

Or maybe you think gay folks won’t be able to raise functioning kids who don’t have a whole host of emotional problems. Well, straight people have been screwing kids up for generations so we really don’t have any high moral ground there. Besides statistics are showing, more and more, that it’s not the gender or sexual orientation of the parents but the consistency of the parental support that makes for strong, healthy kids.

When I asked Tucker Chapin if I could use his name and image in this posting this 16 year old boy responded without hesitation.

“Absolutely!” he said.

John Chapin, Tucker Chapin and Joel Plitt celebrate the good news – Question 6 passes.

He is happy, balanced and well adjusted. And he is PROUD of his gay father John, and Joel, John’s now-soon-to-be husband.   Tuckers straight mother is not filled with hatred or bitterness about John’s orientation but is, instead, a shining example of a loving and equal partner in Tucker’s upbringing. Surely this maturity and consistency has helped Tuck turn out better than fine.

John and Joel may sing a few more show tunes in their house then you do but other than that I see very little that separates them from the rest of us.

If your argument is that gay folks don’t have normal long term relationships I wonder what gay people you know. My friend Stephen Kuttner has been in a committed relationship for nine years. Check out these other long-termers  here.

My friend, Jeannie studied become a dentist while her domestic partner Katrina worked as teacher to help her get through school. Now that Jeannie has graduated and is well placed in her private dental practice, she is supporting Katrina as she launches her own education development company.  They’ve been together for years and they are a normal as can be.

They are intellectual and creative and proud of who they are. There’s nothing at all scary about that.

I challenge you, before you run out to force this issue to the Supreme Court, to come hang out with me and my friends for a while. In no time you’ll be wondering, like I do, what the big freaking deal is.

If you prefer to dig in your heals and to judge without attempting to understand then, I guess I am as threatened by you as you are of them. Your inability to overcome your limitations stands to seriously hurt the people I love.

But I will work very hard to turn my anger and fear of you into understanding so that I can love you as you are, warts and all, and to allow you to pursue happiness in your own way.

It’s a neat trick. You should try it some time.



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