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.