Support in Washington, Maine, Maryland and Minnesota

Today the Obama campaign issued a statement about the president’s support for the ballot campaigns to win same-sex marriage in Maine, Maryland, and Washington. The campaign has already spoken out against a ballot measure in Minnesota to prohibit same-sex marriage. It’s a historic first: no sitting President before has ever made such a clear declaration of support.

In that context, I would like to repeat the words of playwright Doug Wright, posted on Facebook today:

“I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies (tenuous and ill-formed as they are), and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, ‘My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.’

It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you ‘disagree with your candidate on these issues.’

I would also like to remind you that if you justify your GOP vote by saying you’re “fiscally conservative but a socially liberal”, you fall under the same category as above. That phrase means “I’d really *like* for there to be a support network for people who need it and rights for those who deserve them, but only as long as I don’t have to pay for any of it.”

I called a 70-year old woman tonight in northern Minnesota, whose 86-year old gay brother is moving back from Florida to live with her. When she was 15 she wrote him a letter telling him that she knew he was gay, but that was OK and she still loved him. In spite of the fact that the rest of her family had rejected him and would have nothing to do with him. They stayed in touch throughout their whole lives, and now that he can no longer take care of himself, he’s moving back here. Back to his home, for the first time in over six decades.

She said “I just wish he could have been born 60 years later: he would have had the chance for so much more love and happiness in his life.”

She’s voting No. She made me cry.

Look me in the eye and tell me that you prefer to vote instead for a businessman who has made you a vague promise to give you a tax break. Before doing so, make sure you’re OK with not speaking to me in the future, because I require a minimum level of humanity from the people I talk to.

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