Photo courtesy of Ted Eytan: Creative Commons
Dear Republican Candidates for President,
As you begin to consider the tone of your candidacy for president, I have one request.
Please don’t use my dads as a bargaining chip.
My family is not an issue or topic to be used to garner votes, we are flesh-and-blood human beings on the back-slide of our life-spans who just want to live out the rest of our lives in relative peace.
My dads fought long and hard against discrimination that threatened their safety and the health of our family. I rest easier today knowing that in their golden years, they can enjoy the benefits of marriage (after 36 years together), and if one of them gets sick and lands in long-term-care, they will be able to see each other in the hospital. By the grace of God — though not the law — they had long careers in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s free from discrimination. I’m thankful for these small graces.
When you consider using politics and laws as tools to turn back decades of discrimination for LGBT families, remember that you are condemning children like me in LGBT families to years of unjust suffering.
Did you know there are over 6 million kids residing in LGBT homes today? Your decisions are not neutral, they hurt kids like me who have been a part of loving LGBT families for over four decades. You say that you are “thinking of the children” but I don’t see how this is the case when you are actively campaigning against laws that will protect our parents and our families. Perhaps you could explain your logic to me?
Further, did you know that when you politic using words like “the gay agenda” or “the gay issue” or “lifestyle choice,” or worse when you call my parents an “abomination” that you are talking about my dads? Can you imagine if someone talked about your parents the way you are talking about mine? How would that make you feel?
I suppose, Republican Presidential Candidates, you also think that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, so I too must be gay, or misguided, or have “issues.” I’m a pretty normal straight 44 year old, did well in school, have an incredible circle of friends, have had a great career, and I love being a part of my church.
Furthermore I’m seminary trained, I’m Christian, and I believe that God’s call to us to “love everyone” includes the LGBT community. So I’m a little baffled how you can marginalize my dads with hateful rhetoric in one breath, and then in the second believe that you are doing the work of God?
Oh, p.s. back to that little thing about my dads being an “abomination” — did you know that taken literally, the bible claims that you too are considered an abomination if you eat shellfish or wear mixed clothing. AND, that you are in danger of not inheriting the kingdom of God if you’ve ever been guilty of any of these things: impurity, sensuality, idolatry, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness. It seems to me that your fits of anger against the LGBT community might be causing you the kingdom — so as a fellow believer, let me help hold you accountable and tell you right now just to STOP IT.
The political engine seems to have jumped on the anti-gay, pro-gay battle and stepped up their rhetoric to try and win the hearts and minds of voters like me. Voters who (and there are many of us) — were so disgusted by the tone of the last election that we gave up our privilege to vote (don’t worry, that won’t happen this election). Voters who believe that politicians are so out of touch with my generation and the generation to follow that our elected candidates would rather USE people and LOVE things instead of the other way around.
When did y’all stop loving the people you were elected to serve?
Sure. There is a lot of debate going on right now about LGBT families and couples, and you could easily step on that bandwagon and catapult yourself to the oval office — because let’s face it — hate can stir up a nation, hate sells news, and if you are in the news then you get attention which helps your campaign. I’m in marketing, so I get that.
But don’t you also remember that place in the bible where it says “a nation divided against itself cannot stand?”
If you split our nation down the middle, and in the name of “religious freedom” you use my family to do that, that doesn’t sound like freedom at all. It sounds more like prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry. It also leaves America shattered and ripe for a strong, unifying leader to come in and take over (think Hitler because this is the environment he stepped into — a fragmented nation).
So if you can’t muster up enough compassion to think of my dads, and you refuse to have compassion when thinking of my family, think of our nation.
Info: In case you have missed what the republican candidates have launched against LGBT families, I’ve listed them below.
- In the wide-ranging AP questionnaire in 1992, Huckabee said, “I feel homosexuality is an aberrant, unnatural, and sinful lifestyle, and we now know it can pose a dangerous public health risk.” [USA Today, 12/8/2007]
- Huckabee Compared LGBT Marriage Equality to Incest, Polygamy, and Drug Use and Said LGBT Couples Should Not Be Allowed To Adopt Because “Children Aren’t Puppies.” [Associated Press, 4/13/10, AUDIO]
- Carson infamously said that prisons are proof that people “choose” to be gay [CNN], and he has previously compared same-sex marriage to pedophilia, bestiality, and murder. [Baltimore Sun, March 29, 2013]
- Cruz said same-sex marriage had produced rabid zealotry in Democratic ranks. This ideology, he argued, was excluding people of faith. “There is a liberal fascism that is going after Christian believers…Today’s Democratic Party has become so radicalized for legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states that there is no longer any room for religious liberty.” [The Hill, 4/25/2015]
- U.S. Sen. Rand Paul remarked on President Obama’s decision to publicly support same-sex marriage by saying, “Call me cynical, but I wasn’t sure his views on marriage could get any gayer…Now that doesn’t mean we need to be harsh and mean and hate people…But that doesn’t mean that we have to go ahead and give up our traditions.” [Los Angeles Times, 5/12/12, VIDEO]
- In 2013, Senator Rubio voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that the Miami Herald reported “would make it illegal under federal law for employers to discriminate against their employees based on the employee’s sexual orientation or gender identity. These same basic workplace protections are already afforded to individuals on the basis of race, creed, national origin, gender, and disability status.” [S. 815 Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, Vote #232 64-23, 11/7/2013; Miami Herald, 11/20/2013]