Thursday, August 2, 2012

Devastated by 4 Neighbors

    I'm taking a break from blogging about our England trip to write about something that is just devastating to me. The list of people who signed the petition to put marriage equality in Maryland up for a referrendum vote this coming November was made public and published online today.  I was DEVASTATED to learn that four households on our street signed that petition.  These are people that we know; people with whom we have shared experiences, and helped out when they needed us. 
 - Two of these households have children that we've recognized at Christmas with gifts.  We've watched their dogs and house while they were away on vacation.  We've helped them out on home improvement projects.  We've played with their dogs and attended birthday parties.  One household is comprised of a married couple; the other is a household headed by a single mom.
  THIS IS REALLY HURTFUL. I'm devastated. We have treated all of them with respect. We acknowledge the legitimacy of their marriages. And we have shown nothing but respect to them and their families! This is NOT about religion, it's about people. It's about being human and deserving respect - the same respect we give them.
 -Many Neighbors Didn't sign it - There are households on our block that are comprised of mixed-race couples.  Some are retirees representing a generation that we felt sure would not be supportive.  None of them signed the petition. I want to believe it's because they have come to know us for who we are.  So out of the 30 households on our street, only four want to repeal marriage equality in our state.
  To gain some perspective on all of this, I called one of our retired neighbors, Elvina, whom we have come to know very well over the past several years.  I felt the need to talk all of this through with her. She is Catholic.  And if you will recall several months ago that the Catholic churches in our area were one of the most vocal organizations leading the charge AGAINST marriage equality, and went so far as to have petition drives to solicit signatures from their parishioners OUT IN FRONT OF THEIR CHURCH BUILDINGS.  Elvina told her fellow parishioners that she COULD NOT sign the petition because she knows a gay married couple (us).  She told me that some people are just blinded by their religion and don't see people as people, or even as equals. She said that some of her sibilings do not agree with her position that we should have the same legal protections that marriage equality would bring, but she does.  In fact, she got into tiffs with her siblings about it.  And she said that it was all because she has gotten to know us and love us for the people we are.  She said everyone deserves to find a loving partner and have the peace and security that legal recognition would bring. She understands and "gets it."  She told me if she didn't know us, she might have listened to some of the people in her church, but she stood up for us, and for other same sex couples in our state, and told the people in her church and family that their position is wrong. SHE DID THAT FOR US. That is a friend. That is a TRUE friend. 
  - These 4 neighbors that are attempting to repeal marriage equality in our state are basing all human rights and equality on THEIR religion.  But not everyone abides by the tenets of their religion.  And the legal recognition of the love and commitment between two consenting adults, who ARE legally married, should be respected.
  We've been legally married now for over three years, and our marriage has done nothing to hurt or diminish the standing of any of their marriages.  We THOUGHT they were our friends.  They have damaged a going on seven-year friendship. Even Elvina told me that we need to distance ourselves from these people who do not support us.  And we agree.
  SO, if you're reading this, and you've "friended" us on Facebook, and you DO NOT believe in recognizing our lifetime legal commitment and that it should remain valid, then please consider removing yourself as one of our contacts. 
   We support our friends. We love our friends and have been willing to make sacrifices to help our friends.  Like you, we are asking for your respect, and your recognition of us as loving, caring adults and friends who share a lifetime commitment.   I am just devastated that people we thought were our friends would throw us under the bus after so many years.  Consider how you would feel if someone were to do that to you.

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next