A good friend of ours received an email from someone who belongs to the Catholic Knights of Columbus, telling people to vote down Maryland's gay marriage law when it appears on the ballot in November. Our great friend (who is straight) wrote him back and told him she will vote for gay marriage and cited several examples of people who have suffered without being legally recognized.
As someone who grew up Catholic, and went to a lot of Knights of Columbus events with my dad, I was furious. I sat down and wrote the following email to this person I don't know, and I only hope he reads it and "gets it." I thought it important to share it with everyone else, too - if you know anyone that wouldn't support us in our marriage.
People who don't believe that we should be legally married are not friends. We've been together 7 years and married for 3 of them. All we want are the legal protections marriage offers (and the word "marriage" is a LEGAL term, btw. That's how our laws recognize it. 'Civil unions" have over 1,000 less protections. I'll share the differences in the future. - Rob
Here's my letter:
As a gay man, who has been legally married to my partner since 2009, I cannot understand the hatred and opposition to Maryland's gay marriage law (it IS the law), when Maryland's law allows all churches to NOT perform gay marriages. The churches have nothing to lose, and will NOT be affected. So why the hatred?
- Our marriage is one of love and commitment. We are NOT of your religion, and this is NOT about religion. It's about a loving, legal commitment between two people, to enable us to have security and protections of the law. I can't understand why people who claim to follow Jesus, would want others to suffer.
Let me cite an example of why this law is so important to us as fellow human beings:
We know of a couple who were together 32 years, much longer than most straight couples. When one fell ill and died, the partner could NOT claim his partner's BODY!
Instead, the hospital contacted an estranged brother of the deceased over a week later to claim the body. The estranged brother, which disowned his brother 30 years before after
learning he was gay, then TOOK the house that had been shared by this committed gay couple for all that time. The house was not in both names.
The estranged brother then threw this elderly gay man out on the street!
The man in his 70s had to be taken into a friend's home. How in the world is that Christian?
That's not the Jesus I learned about growing up.
I'm telling you this because like you, we are adults, human, tax payers, and have the same ability to have a legal loving commitment as any straight person.
I am incensed that people of a religion would be the first to want to cause others in society agony and pain, and treat them as unequals.
It's fine to have your beliefs as long as they don't infringe upon the legal rights of others.
Let me Ask YOU: If you follow the bible, then are you stoning divorcees or non-virgins? Have you tried to ban shellfish, lobster, etc.?
Are you lobbying to shut down tattoo parlors? These are all things that the bible endorses.
Do you know there are 30 times more references to preventing divorce in the Bible than there are referring to gay people?
Are you divorced? Do you know someone who is? Well, the Bible instructs you to kill them. Are you going to do to that? - Do you treat your slaves well?
Do you see the point here? You cannot legislate "all men are equal" by the bible. The bible never looked at slaves or people from other "tribes" as equals.
This is not about Christianity. It's about the U.S. law, not the law of the bible. There are many religions and non-religions in our country.
This is the United States of America and we have a law that protects all citizens and treats them as equals.The Declaration of Independence states "All men are created equal...":
No one is better than anyone else, and we ALL deserve the same rights.
I urge all on this email to NOT take MY marriage and MY legal protections away.
I can sleep soundly knowing that I love everyone equally and I treat everyone with kindness.
People who vote to prevent allowing legal protections of marriage to gay couples can't say the same.
I am the same as you are, and I would never do that to you. Neither would Jesus.