An Open Letter To Everyone With a Vote

Look, I know no one needs me to tell them how to vote.  I’m just a guy, like you, and while I’m full of opinions, I know the cool thing about opinions is that everyone’s entitled to their own and that if I don’t like yours, I can clasp my hands over my ears or put down my newspaper or click on one of the other ten gadzillion blogs written by someone I don’t really know and go, “Hmm… I wonder what they think?”

Besides, if you’ve read my site before, you probably can probably guess how I’m voting tomorrow.

I don’t want to talk too much about this, because I know some people I care very much about will be voting a different way from me.  Let me first tell those people no, I won’t hate you forever.  Some other people I care about have been arguing very vehemently that Romney is so anti-gay (which he is) that voting for him amounts to some kind of personal attack against every gay person you know (which it isn’t).  I mean, it sucks.  You want to vote for Romney?  Yeah, that bums me out.  But I’m not going to take it personally.

I’ve written before about how I don’t want to be anyone’s token gay friend, and I stand by that.  But I’m not looking to shun half the voting public forever.  So if you support my equal rights but you’re voting for Romney anyway, that’s OK.  Just don’t tell me that you’re voting for him in spite of his stance on gay rights — tell him.  Tell everyone you vote for.  Make sure politicians of both parties treat this as what it is — a human rights issue, not a partisan one.

If you live in Washington, Minnesota, Maryland or Maine, you can do this tomorrow, because your state has a ballot measure on gay marriage.  I’m sure you already know this because you’re probably sick of all the TV commercials, flyers, yard signs and personal haranguing you’ve been subjected to over the last few months.

Yeah, I’m sick of all the hype about this subject, too.  I wish we didn’t have to debate it again every single election day.  But the only way that’s ever going to stop is if people support gay marriage sooner rather than later.  The homophobes aren’t going to stop fighting until they realize they can no longer win, until the millions and millions of dollars they pump into fighting my equality every chance they get nets them exactly nothing.

So far, they’re undefeated.  Every time gay marriage has been put to a vote, the public has voted against it.  And that’s the #1 argument against gay marriage.  Most people don’t want it, they say, so vote against it.

Well, now’s the time to tell them you’re not falling for that argument anymore.  You know what’s right.  You believe in equality.  You may still be uncomfortable with gay people personally, maybe your religion assures you all gay people are going to burn in Hell, but you believe in the ideals of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.  Yes, I know the Declaration of Independence says “All men are created equal”, and there was a time when they did mean “men” only.  White men, even.  But you know what?  That was wrong, and so is limiting equality to heterosexuals.  Over time, America has gotten more fair, not less.  Let’s keep moving forward.

And to those of you who aren’t cool with gay people, who worry what will happen to this country you love if you vote to support gay marriage, let me give you a glimpse of the future as I see it.  I know the TV commercials are telling you that legalizing gay marriage will lead to kids being indoctrinated in the mechanics of sodomy in preschool, but I’m guessing that’s a bit of a stretch.

You want to know what “the gay agenda” really is, what kind of world us radical homosexuals are hoping for?  Well, here’s a glimpse of a world where gay marriage is legal, as I see it…

– Every kid probably has one or two classmates who have gay parents.  Maybe those parents are cool, or maybe they’re weenies who smell of scented candles and you’ll try not to get stuck sitting next to them at PTA meetings.  “Yikes, here come Mindy and Jill!  They never shut up about their Labradors!”

– By kindergarten, most kids know some people have two mommies or two daddies or that Uncle Dave and Uncle Joe are in love, just like Mommy and Daddy.  They still don’t know where babies come from or that the Tooth Fairy is a crock.

– The gay people you know are more comfortable with themselves, more open about who they are and your relationship with them is closer than ever.  Guessing who among your friends is closeted is less fun than it used to be because almost everyone is out.

– The topic of homosexuality is raised in high school health classes, by a teacher who’s just as uncomfortable discussing it as he or she is talking about heterosexuality with a bunch of horny teenagers.  But all the kids, regardless of orientation, learn how to protect themselves from STDs, which makes the world safer and healthier for all of us.

– If your own kid turns out to be gay, you can be comfortable knowing that they’ll grow up with all the rights and opportunities you had, and they probably won’t kill themselves before they’re old enough to vote.

That’s it.  That’s our endgame.  If you vote to support gay marriage, that’s the world you’re voting for.  Notice nothing happened to your marriage or your rights in that scenario.  That’s because gay marriage does nothing to infringe on the rights of straight people, and anyone who tells you otherwise is a shameless, unprincipled liar.

I’m lucky enough to live in New York, one of the states where gay marriage is legal, and the world I just described is pretty much what it’s like in my town.  It’s nice here.  People are happy.  I’m happy.

If you live in one of the four states that’s voting on gay marriage tomorrow, do the right thing.  You really can’t have it both ways on this one.  You can’t say you support me and my equality and then vote directly against it.

So vote like this chart says.  Do it for me, do it for your gay friends and family or your favorite gay celebrities.  (You don’t want to hurt Neil Patrick Harris, do you?)  Just do it.  And spread this message to everyone you know in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota.  Tell them you care about this issue, and that they should, too.

Regardless of whether you’re red or blue, tomorrow, let’s paint a couple of states pink.  Let’s show people that a world where gay marriage is legal is nothing to be afraid of.

40 comments on “An Open Letter To Everyone With a Vote

  1. Love this! I am proud to live in a state where gay marriage is legal (Yay, Iowa!). I never understood why some people are so opposed to it…it’s not like anyone is forcing them into a gay marriage…it’s showing others that you accept people reagardless of their sexual preference. I hope my son grows up knowing that families with 2 dads or 2 moms, or 1 mom and no dad, or 1 mom and 1 dad (the list could go on and on) is completely fine! Our family may be different, but it’s perfect for us.

    • I totally agree with you, I do not get why same sex marriage is such a big deal in the country we live in. If people want to accept their sexual preference, then let them do what they want. There is nothing wrong in my mind, with people having a relationship with a person of the same sex.

  2. Love this! Gay marriage has been legal everywhere in this country for 7 and a half years, and the world has yet to end. In fact, it’s much like the world you described. Little kids know that usually boys marry girls but boys can marry boys, or girls can marry girls and they haven’t been scarred for life. In fact they don’t question it because it’s just a fact of life.

    You know what else happens when gay marriage is legal everywhere? People don’t argue about it anymore. It just becomes a fact of life, and no longer part of the political discourse. Though of course it’d be political suicide for our Prime Minister to be openly anti-gay, so it might be a little different. And those who vote against gay marriage often think us Canadians are liberal atheist communist socialist abortionists. Or something:)

    I am so grateful to live in a country where I can marry the woman of my choice some day, and I hope that all Americans have that opportunity some day. I would vote accordingly if I could.

  3. Great post. I am so proud to live in a state that has voted for gay marriage. This is the first year that I have really had to explain to my 8 year old the details of the election and gay marriage. Last year we had to cover nipple piercings so having that under our belt made this a bit easier.
    This was the first time we had a lawn sign for someone running for state representative so my son has become very observant of whats on everyone else lawns, and buildings etc. It took a few weeks to assure him that the election wasn’t decided on peoples lawn sign collections.
    During the first election after VT passed its civil union law there were many residents who placed “take back VT” signs on their properties hoping to turn the tide in our state government and have newly elected officials who would repeal this law. It was one of these old signs that was still up that he saw and questioned.
    So started a discussion on marriage, who can get married, who can’t, what makes a family, if you have two dads who makes the cookies or pancakes? Who makes the cupcakes on birthdays to share in class? That lead to a discussion on “just because your dad can’t cook doesn’t mean every dad can’t cook” and just look at your aunt there’s a reason we have you eat before you go to her house.

    In the end its all cool with him, love is love it doesn’t matter who you love only that you do, oh and that you have at least one parent that can cook. He still hasn’t gotten over the fact that he can’t vote, when we go to the polls tomorrow he wants to fill out my ballot behind the curtain. We’re still working on that one.
    Its an honor to vote and I have my fingers crossed that on Wednesday there will be 4 new states where everyone can get married not just a select few.
    I will add to anyone that is on the fence on how to vote VT residents voted in 2000 for marriage equality. During the past 12 years my son has gone through Preschool and my daughter is currently in preschool and neither one of them have been indoctrinated into the mechanics of sodomy, I agree it is a real fear for some of you out there but they seem to be more focused on learning, and sharing. Apparently its really important to not hit Billy over the head when he try’s to take your play dough. I’m just saying.

    • Thanks, Pam. And I think you make another great point with your comment — that all this fighting over gay marriage, and all the constant ballot measures to strike it down, have done more to educate kids about homosexuality than anything. I just want to live my life in peace, but it’s the homophobes who are making sure kids are hearing about gays in kindergarten, one way or another.

  4. What is the big deal about gay marriage? Can it really do anything to make the current state of heterosexual marriages worse?

    The divorce rate in America for first marriage is 41%
    The divorce rate in America for second marriage is 60%
    The divorce rate in America for third marriage is 73%

    Why aren’t people up in arms about this? This is the type of marriage reform I’d like to see.

    I sincerely hope that when gay couples earn the right to marry, they will do better at marriage than a large majority of heterosexuals have done. Perhaps you will be the example that the rest of the married country can look to?

  5. Pingback: An Open Letter To Everyone With a Vote « the Good, the Bad and the Saggy

  6. That statement about “if your kid turns out to gay, you hope they have the same rights, etc…” That my dear, is powerful. If that doesn’t touch the haters hearts, I’m not sure any thing will. Loving your blog sweetie!

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. A fantastic post, well written. As one half of a Civil Partnership in the UK, myself and my husband took a trip to Los Angeles last year. I found it upsetting that when we hit American soil, heterosexual married couples were able to pass through security together but I was made to stand behind the line as my partner went through. Of course this was a very small and minor example, but it really struck me how we weren’t recognised as a couple. Even though I live in Europe, I hope that for the people of America we wake up to the news that Obama is re-elected.

  8. I live in Vancouver, Canada so we end up watching some Washington channels and we’ve seen so many ads advocating to vote down same-sex marriage. Our jaws dropped. Not only were they overly dramatic but they declared you can be anti-gay marriage and not anti-gay. Maybe that’s true, I haven’t sifted through the logic, but what I do know is you’re an idiot if you think you have a right to decide how people live their lives. Imagine trying to tell someone they couldn’t marry the love of their life because they were the same height, “*deep inhale*…yeah I’m sorry that’s not allowed here, we only allow people who are different heights to marry… it’s something we read in a book” It just doesn’t make sense. Throughout history has anyone ever been happy with “in” and “out” groups? (well, the “in” group I’m sure is super happy with it). In and out groups have never contributed to safe and happy communities so why do people keep trying to draw lines in the sand?
    I know couples don’t need a piece of paper to confirm their love and commitment but that’s not the point. I just don’t know why anyone would want to deny any one else the feeling of acceptance.

  9. Posted this to Facebook: I couldn’t agree more. Here in France the same question is being debated as gay marriage and adoption of children comes up for vote by the new government. The different churches – strangely enough – agree for once, but only on something negative: their anti-gay rants. Here’s hoping that in the US and in France, people are intelligent enough to see that the most important thing is for children to have two parents who love them.

  10. Well..I usually never discuss religion or politics…it usually leads to a war…

    I will say this: I think everyone should have equality in everything this lovely globe has to offer……..however,….I don’t think marriage (in of itself) is all it’s cracked up to be…I think I get a break on my taxes…(?)…

  11. In a world with Neil Patrick Harris how could ANYONE be anti-equality? I love him. I early voted last week for Obama (high five!)

  12. That world of which you speak? I live there. My kids live there. And it’s really nice to see. Except the rights haven’t caught up with the reality. Our state has been flip flopping on gay marriage even as our school district just beat the hay-ill out of a superintendent candidate who was vocally anti-gay-marriage.

    I wish we could vote on gay marriage again tomorrow. I want it off the table in elections. It’s so obviously a family rights issue. Love is love.

  13. I am a Christian but I see a serious double standard in most Christian circles.
    It is OK for them not to try to take down the porn industry because “struggling with a porn addiction is a private matter”.
    It is OK for them to turn a blind eye to “sinning” within their own ranks because “everyone will have to answer to God for their sins”.

    But it is NOT OK for gay men/women to marry or have children together because, after all, that is “a bigger sin than all the rest” and “a house with a mom and a dad is better”.

    Last I checked, the divorce rate (even among Christians) tops 50%.
    And, if I am correct, it’s OK to be a single Mom by choice in the Church.
    “God forgives” and those women aren’t required to run out and get married so that the kid(s) has the mom and dad they “need”.

    But Heaven help us all if a gay couple “continues sinning”. They need to “repent” otherwise they go to Hell.

    Whatever happened to, “What is good for the goose is good for the gander”?
    I seriously struggle with my faith when I see so much injustice.
    I think now I understand why people cringe when I say I am a Christian.

    We’re not all judgemental and condemning. I swear. 🙂

  14. I think my previous comment made it seem as though I condemn single moms. To clarify, I don’t hate or condemn them (or anyone for that matter). To anyone who read it and felt offended: I’m sorry. That was never my intention. I was trying to illustrate a point and my words failed me.

    Please be gentle on me and keep the flogging to a minimum. 🙂

  15. Excellent post.
    America is way ahead of us. I look forward to the day there is an actual conversation about this in The Bahamas. It’s not even up for debate. Just ignored.
    Good for the USA! Exercise your right to vote! Don’t put a limit on equality!
    *waves rainbow flag*

    • Thanks! And let’s hope more people in the Bahamas come around to your way of thinking. I have no doubt there are plenty of gay people in your country who would love to see things change.

  16. Well put, I live in California and I can not believe it is still an issue here as well as their views on legal marijuana. I voted today in favor of gay marriage because I work beside them, live amongst them, and am related to a few as well. I want them to live equally just like I do…last I checked this was America, otherwise known to be the “LAND OF THE FREE”. Come and join me and support them today with your vote!!!

    • Thanks. The whole Prop 8 fight still stings. I know it’s only a matter of time before California votes again, and there’s a good chance it’ll go the other way next time. The victories on this Election Day will definitely help change some minds.

  17. It makes me so sad that equality must be fought for, still in 2012! There is nothing more I can say without getting on my soapbox, but I hope that your children will never know how it feels to be treated differently in the eyes of their government because of who they are.

  18. I live in California. Prop 8 was declared unconstitutional February of this year. We are just waiting to see where this will take us. I hope California will one day be like the other states that have approved marriage equality.

  19. Wonderful post! Recently discovered your blog. So proud of the people in the four states who voted for equality! Oh and I’m from Texas by way of Virginia. Here’s hoping my former and current home states will soon have the opportunity to make me proud.

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