A Reluctant Advocate

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There are many political issues I have strong opinions about. I’m for less government spending, I’m against the death penalty. I’m in favor of a strong military. (On Syria John Mccain is right. Obama is wrong.) I’m in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. I’m in favor of securing our border AND a path to legalizing the 11 million people already living and working in this country. It’s a pretty schizophrenic platform so I’ve shelved any political aspirations for now.

Legalizing gay marriage has never been on my radar. If asked in the past few years what my thoughts on marriage were I probably would have sided with defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

In the last year or so I’ve slowly moved away from that traditional position simply because I’m pragmatic. Who cares? And why are we spending so much time fighting about this? More importantly, why is the government in the business of saying who should and should not marry?

Today my position on marriage equality has evolved even further. I do care. It does matter. I am now proud to fight alongside the gay and lesbian community for their rights to marry.

What pushed me across the line from non-committal bystander to vocal advocate?  Why does it matter to me now? The play 8, named after California Proposition 8 that would ban gay marriage moved me. When Prop 8 was challenged, the pro-traditional marriage people fought successfully to keep cameras out of the courtroom. This is America people and you can’t  keep a good story a secret. Enter a couple of screenplay writers who decided to take the transcripts from the courtroom proceedings and make it a play. One of the first performances was in  L.A. staring George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Jami Lee Curtis and Rob Reiner.

I was honored to be asked to play one of the gay mom’s in the Phoenix production of 8.

It wasn’t until I studied Kris Perry’s words and her thoughts, it wasn’t until I literaly stood in her shoes, a professional woman with teenage sons just like me that I totally understood. We are the same. We are women. We are moms who love our children and our partners. But how weird and inadequate to introduce my husband  as my partner. What about boyfriend? Soul mate? No. He’s my husband. I’m his wife. The titles carry weight and instant recognition in society when an introduction is called for. Our children can proudly say their parents have been married for 23 years. Why can’t Kris and Sandy and their kids for that matter share in that same basic right? Why should their sons try to explain what their parents are to each other without the benefit of the label society understands  and respects? Why should this woman, because of her sexual preference, have to agonize every day about who she is, who she loves and how society labels that love and comittment?

It wasn’t too long ago that blacks and whites fought for the right to marry each other. At the time people opposed to intra-racial marriages argued that a mixing of the races would hurt society. This fight is no less vitriolic. No less demeaning for the gay community.

Everyone, is entitled to enjoy the most primal right of passage: to marry whomever we want and have society recognize that union.

The bottom line is pretty simple.  All men are created equal. (sound familiar).  Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness belongs to everyone. The only way this equality thing works for all of us is if the majority of us demand the same rights for the minority.

Comments

  1. You go girl! This is my favorite piece so far on your BLOG. I want a tshirt with your closing sentence printed on it. Genius. Now that’s a movement I want to be a part of.

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