Friday, June 17, 2011
I support Marriage Equality
As state legislators are on the brink of a gay marriage vote in New York, I've decided that my first blog post for The Gay Vegans will be about marriage and why I support full marriage equality.
On April 30, 2005 I married my best friend, my most beautiful gift from God, Mike. It was the best day of my life even though subsequent days of being married to him have come very close. We were married by our pastor in our church, and were joined by just over 160 family and friends. We called our ceremony "A Loving Act of Civil Disobedience" knowing that our marriage would not be legal in Colorado or in the US in general.
Gay marriage is legally recognized in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont and D.C. No gay marriage is recognized on the federal level, and recently The Respect for Marriage Act was introduced in the US House and US Senate and would repeal DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act signed by President Bill Clinton that banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage) and end federal discrimination against legally married same-sex couples.
NOTE: Both US Senators that represent Colorado, Mark Udall and Michael Bennett, support The Respect for Marriage Act.
The New York state house passed a gay marriage bill and we are waiting on word as to whether or not the New York state senate will vote before their session ends on Monday.
I realize that gay marriage is not an easy issue. I realize that there are many people who fundamentally believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman. I get it. I have listened to all of the arguments and I still believe in marriage equality for all people, including gay couples. I believe that my marriage should be legal and that Mike and I should receive all federal benefits that any other married couple receives.
Gay marriage should be legal in Colorado, and it will be. State legislators here in Colorado attempted a civil unions bill this past session and it failed to get enough votes in committee. A simple fact of some Coloradans believing that other Coloradans are not equal.
And this is what it boils down to me. Not being equal in a "free" country.
Marriage equality will come. The fight for full marriage equality is really just starting, and many more people are becoming comfortable with the idea of legal gay marriage. Less and less people are hijacking religion to fight gay equality, and more and more people are looking at gay marriage as a simple matter of justice. A great example of this is the announcement this week of a letter signed by over 100 Omaha (Nebraska) area ministers who believe that homosexuality is not a sin and welcoming the LGBT community to their congregations.
Even as Colorado legislators plan to introduce another civil unions bill next year, I will speak out for full marriage equality. I support anyone who wants to be in a civil union and will definitely support this bill. At the same time I will make sure that any legislator I run into knows how important marriage equality is to me.
Do you support marriage equality? Tell people! Tell you friends and your family. Tell your minister, rabbi, iman, or priest. Tell those who represent you at every level of government. Write a letter to the editor for your local paper. Blog about it. Post it on Facebook and Twitter. Post articles that are covering the debate in NY.
As you do this, it's important to remember that this is indeed not an easy issue for many people. If we lovingly present our opinion and why it's important to us, we have a much better chance of opening people's minds to marriage equality.
As always, I would love your feedback. I would also love to hear about any actions you're taking.
Thank you so much for reading my blog!
PS! If you in Colorado and want to support gay marriage, you can join our group on Facebook called Coloradans for Full Marriage Equality. We only post about marriage votes going on around the country and how folks in Colorado can connect with their state legislators about gay marriage.