Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Wisconsin Boy Dreams of Marriage

Excellent editorial in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel last week written by a high school senior. Money quote:
I believe in the sanctity of marriage; in fact, it's a tradition I aspire to emulate. For me, marriage is more than just a word; it's the embodiment of an idea to which I am deeply loyal. Marriage sanctifies the love and commitment that form the basis of a strong, morally upright family.
"Civil union," by contrast, is a sterile and relatively meaningless term. Those who support civil unions and oppose gay marriage, including nearly all of the Democratic presidential candidates, fail to understand that nobody views marriage in terms of government benefits.
Marriage is really about carrying on an honorable and meaningful tradition. The benefits are superfluous. The word is indispensable.
I emailed him this response:

Hi Jonathan,

I just read your editorial in the Journal-Sentinel (courtesy of link from Andrew Sullivan), and I wanted to send my congratulations to you for having the courage to speak out (and so eloquently!). I hope that you have hope in equal measure to your courage. For what it's worth, I can well recall feeling very much like you did when I first came out some 25 years ago. When I first came to the realization that I was gay, I felt as if all of my lifelong dreams of family and marriage were torn to shreds in front of my face, with nothing to replace them. It took a while for me to integrate a new dream, very similar to the old one, informed by all the same values I was raised with, but with another man instead of a woman to share my life with. Now, though we lack state recognition, I have a very wonderful husband and six happy years of being married. We had a relatively traditional wedding, exchanging vows surrounded by family and friends. It can happen -- it will happen for you, and by the time it does, you may even be able to get that wedding license. In the 25 years since I came out, I have seen amazing changes in America's acceptance of homosexuality. There's still a ways to go, but we're moving in the right direction, and there's no turning back. Know hope.

Best regards,
Tom Chatt

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