Why this married straight white guy fights so hard for LGBT equality
I write a lot. I write articles for Oregon NORML and The Oregon Herald. There’s also my own blog, although not lately, since I’ve been swamped and have run into some roadblocks in getting it moved to a new web host. Then there is my dKos diary and the multitude of comments I post all over the web.
And, of course, my contributions here. Sometimes I’ll be telling friends or family where they can read my writing, and when I get around to “and I contribute to the weblog winner for Best LGBT Blog”, I get that funny look.
What are you, a married straight white guy from the Pacific Northwest, doing writing for a blog written by a married lesbian black woman from the South? I always make an offhand remark about being the creamer in frothy cappuccino here, and how much more “Blendy” could you get, demographically speaking?
However the truth is, I write here because, as Dr. King told us, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I know that the bigots who are after my LGBT friends aren’t going to stop there. I also believe that the voice of one straight white guy is going to be more noticed and more shocking to the homophobes that look like me than a dozen screams from those they perceive with ingrained prejudice. (Plus, I’m one-eighth gay on my maternal great grandmother’s side of the family.)
But really, all you need to know about my motivation can be summed up in two photographs:
These are my friends, Jen & Maria, tending to their newborn baby daughter, Sofia Isabel. Jen
gave birth & Maria adopted this baby, born Feb 5, 2006 @ 6:31pm and Sofia was 7lb 15oz, 20 inches long. (You can offer your congrats at Maria’s blog, Another Day in the Life of a Fool.)
Sofia Isabel’s parents are wonderful, loving people who have been in a monogamous committed relationship longer than I’ve been in mine. They are both successful professionals living in a very nice home here in Portland. Maria met my wife in school and quickly introduced my wife to her circle of acquaintences.
Sofia Isabel deserves to be protected under the law. Her family deserves the recognition of society and equal treatment. Should Jen or Maria meet with an unfortunate accident, Sofia Isabel deserves the same level of legal coverage as my brother’s daughters.
Sofia Isabel’s parents are not disgusting, perverse, reprehensbile abominations. Sofia Isabel’s two moms love her as much as any two parents love their child. Sofia Isabel doesn’t deserve to grow up with taunts and discrimination because her family doesn’t look like most others.
Some people would say that Jen & Maria can create virtually all the same legal protections necessary to care for Sofia Isabel. They can jump through 1,047 legal hoops when my wife and I only had to jump through one. But why should they have to? Why does the law exist to grant special rights to heterosexuals? What business does the federal government have in judging that my love for my wife is valid, but Maria’s & Jen’s love is not? And even if they do (and they have) jump through many many more hoops, they still remain in a legal state that may be recognized her in Oregon, but certainly not in Idaho. Why do my wife and I get to take our rights with us as we travel from state to state, but Maria & Jen may not? More special rights for heterosexuals.
So, until Sofia Isabel is just another kid in just another family, I will keep writing and marching and rhetorically bitch-slapping homobigoted wingnuts. I have no children of my own, so I will fight to see that all children in all families get the love, protection, and legal standing they deserve.