Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The Reality of Gay Marriage

The parents of a gay man in Massachusetts have written a wonderful op-ed piece for the Boston Globe on the one year anniversary of the legalization of gay marriage in that state. Here is how it concludes:

But how could we as parents not do all we could to embrace our child? How could we not do all we could to strengthen our family? Many object to equal marriage because it represents an attack on family. This is tragic and wrong. Family means love and support for all, not the marginalization of one member of the family.

We have now had one year of legal same-sex marriage in our state. Despite predictions, we have not witnessed any threat to so-called “traditional marriage.” There has not been an attack on family, and almost all would admit that very little has changed. In fact, however, something has changed. Many of our citizens have experienced the joy of marriage for the first time where the laws of our state have said, “You are equal.” We have seen that joy in our son. To take that away would be an injustice. It would be devastating for our family and the real values we believe family should represent.

After seven years in a committed relationship, our son and his partner exchanged vows in front of 125 friends and family members. It brought home the reality that marriage is about two people who love each other and who desire to commit to a life together. We now realize how far our entire family has come in 12 years. Those hopes and dreams we had for our son prior to June 1993 have, in fact, now been realized. What more could we have wished for than to have our son find happiness and share his life with someone he loves?

What makes this more impressive is that the father, Chad Gifford, is a member of the nation’s economic elite as the former chairman of the Bank of America. Too many people continue to view this issue as one involving “them”, as an abstraction. But it’s not. It’s real people in real relationships. All the talk of “family values” and the “sanctity of marriage” is just window dressing around the genuine people who are affected by it. Never forget that.

Comments

  1. #1 raj
    May 25, 2005

    We live in a suburb of Boston. I’ve checked every day since 17 May 2004 and, as far as I can tell, the sky hasn’t fallen. It’s been windy and rainy here for the last couple of days, but the sky is still up there.

  2. #2 Jon Rowe
    May 25, 2005

    Raj,

    Did you listen to David Brudnoy. I used to enjoy his show when I went to Berklee College of Music in the early to mid-90s.

  3. #3 raj
    May 25, 2005

    Jon, yes, we most definitely listened to Brudnoy. He was excellent in the 1980s, and we were very upset when he almost died of HIV/AIDS in the early 1990s. We were pleased when he returned, and he was very pleasant for a while, but in the late 1990s he became an obnoxious ranter, for a reason that we could not figure out, so we stopped listening to him.

  4. #4 Jon Rowe
    May 25, 2005

    I actually kinda liked it when he became a “ranter.” He could be “Bob Grant” one minute, “William F. Buckley” the next, and the “Brian Lamb” the next.

    He seemed to be a truly remarkable guy too. I’m glad he got to live 10 more years after almost dying of AIDS.

  5. #5 Jason Kuznicki
    May 26, 2005

    The situation of gays in the United States reminds me of the Jews in late 19th- and early 20th-century Europe. In quite a few places (England, for example) and in many professions (banking, wholesale) they were quite well tolerated. In other places and other professions (Germany, many civil services and law), they were despised or excluded. Neither acceptance nor outright rejection prevailed–anxiety did. Eventually, though, the majority may well get tired of feeling anxious about the presence of a minority.

    The one thing that gives me some hope for a different outcome is that gays are almost inevitably born into families made up of heterosexuals. I hope it’s enough.

  6. #6 Bill Ware
    May 26, 2005

    Jason,

    Yes, near randomness is a great advantage. Blacks could be kept in “their part of town” since race runs in families. But as I pointed out in my post Genetic Basis for Sexual Orientation, there is no unique “gay gene” so anyone can have a gay child as the case of VP Cheney and his wife makes clear.

    Ho ho! Then there’s the case of our favorite conservative, Alan Keyes, of course.

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