Saturday, March 9, 2013

Short Video: 2 Dads and their kids Stand up for Marriage Equality in Minnesota

James and Paul with their preschoolers. Photo by Sophia Hantzes
  Paul Melchert and his husband James gave a moving testimony of the importance of same-sex families, and they did it at a podium with their twin preschoolers (who are so cute). They were testifying to change Minnesota's law banning same-sex marriage at a press conference  announcing a bill to repeal that ban.    Watch this video and listen closely while you enjoy one of their sons being fiesty during the testimony!   Watch this video and listen closely while you enjoy one of their sons being fiesty during the testimony!

See the Q&A below with one of the dads.
 Published on Mar 1, 2013

Q&A With Paul Melchert, M.D. on Minnesota's proposed Marriage Amendment (to block gay families)

Dr. Paul Melchert is a pediatric physician who cares exclusively for hospitalized patients. He was formerly a pediatrician with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. An alumnus of the University of Minnesota and St. Olaf College, his professional interests include: LGBT families, children with special healthcare needs and premature infants. Paul and his husband James are raising twin three-year-old boys who started preschool this month.
LM: How has your work shaped your beliefs about the proposed amendment?
PM: I am a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The AAP is a national organization with over 60,000 pediatricians as members. We are committed to attaining the best physical, mental, social health and wellbeing for all children, from infants to young adults. Academy members are proud to provide the same excellent medical care to all families, regardless of their backgrounds. We believe all families are entitled to respect. It is disappointing to hear claims that people from different families are not worthy of equal respect, equal love and equal laws. From my perspective, it is clear that the proposed marriage amendment threatens children’s access to health insurance and health services. That is a perspective shared by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In August, they unanimously voted to join the Minnesotans United for All Families coalition.
LM: There is a lot of science that proves a parent’s sexual orientation is inconsequential with regard to raising healthy and successful children. What would you say to a person who still thinks only a heterosexual couple can raise healthy children?
PM: Children watch how we interact with each other. They learn respect and tolerance from watching us respect and be tolerant of others. They learn how to disrespect and bully others from watching us disrespect and bully others. There is substantial evidence, supported by the leading medical organizations in the country, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Psychological Association, and the American Medical Association, which demonstrates that children who are raised in same-sex households turn out just as well – in all areas – as those raised by heterosexual parents. In fact, children raised by same-sex parents tend to be more nurturing toward younger children and tolerate higher levels of diversity.
LM: What actions have you taken to defeat the proposed amendment?
PM: Last year, I testified before the State Senate and House Judiciary Hearing Committees against the amendment. I have also volunteered by participating in phone banks in the Minneapolis office. The phone-banks have been calling voters to have conversations with them about voting no. I talk to my neighbors, relatives and friends all the time to make sure they know the importance of voting no and encourage them to talk to their neighbors, relatives and friends. I asked my parents to put a yard sign out in Chaska. They were a bit reluctant at first, but I got a text message from them asking for another because their next-door neighbor wanted one.
LM: Based on your experience, how should Minnesota promote stronger and healthier families?
PM: The proposed marriage amendment strengthens no families. We should focus on policies that actually strengthen all families. An example would be improved access to and affordability of excellent healthcare for all children. Another would be eliminating the existing achievement gap in our education system and increasing access to pre-K programs. The AAP has identified that there is a strong link between the health and well being of children and the support and encouragement of all parents and strong family relationships.


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