Maine Public Hearing: A Testimonial
Reposting this as part of an ongoing series regarding real Maine couples and families…
The following testimony was so moving that I HAD to go speak with this couple afterwards and give them a hug. As I told Jarad, I have never been so happy to cry! 🙂
I asked if I could share their story here on the Blend- not only did Jarad quickly say yes, but he gave me his typed notes to use. So please read their wonderful 34 year and counting story below.
Good afternoon Senator Bliss, Representative Priest and members of the Judiciary Committee.
My name is Jarad Platt; I live in Farmington and I am here to urge you to support LD 1020. I am speaking for myself.
I am a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) employed by the Maine Office of Substance Ab use as a Treatment Specialist; I am Coordinator of Substance Abuse Treatment for the adult Maine State Prisons, the Maine Adult Drug Treatment Courts and the Maine Co_occurring Disorders Courts.
My partner is Daniel Gazette. Danny is an Administrative Assistant. We are registered as Domestic Partners in Maine and have been together for 34 years. we both work full time jobs, pay local, state and federal taxes, own a home and autos, support charities, and are integrated into the Farmington community.
We have supported each other through the critical illness of Danny’s mother and the death of his father. My mother lived with us for 16 years and died at age 96 last month. When mother knew she was close to passing, she wrapped her arms around Danny’s neck and whispered to him “I want you to take care of Jarad for me.”
I was caretaker for Danny as he went through cancer of the larynx sugery and radiation treatments and then a heart attack. Danny was caretaker for me when I had a ruptured colon and the attendant surgeries, and a nearly fatal kidney failure and congestive heart failure. We are both fully receovered.
Our lives have always been inclusive of intense family relationships. Mother was a lifelong Baptist. Her faith and religion was not in a box. I didn’t come out as a gay man until I was 35. My father had already passed, my mother immediately accepted me.
Danny was kicked out of the Arny for being gay. Danny’s dad, George, didn’t understand homosexuality when Danny came out to his family, so they had a tenuous relationship for a few years. At Danny’s sister’s wedding George gave his daughter $500; he gave Danny $10 and told him he’d get the rest when he got married. Danny told his dad he had just saved $490.
The second Christmas we were together at Danny’s parents’ house, his mother and father were so excited. George got out his camera, Danny’s mom could hardly contain herself. Danny opened his gift, which was 2 pairs of socks. We were both confused by the excitement of his parents. Then Danny saw the corner of a piece of paper under one of the socks, and took out a check for $490.
That was love and acceptance.
My hope is that this committee and the entire Senate and House can see what George saw- love and committment worthy of marriage. Danny’s mom called Monday to say she hoped that this bill would pass, that “you guys deserve this”.
(Note from Louise: At this point, Jarad started to get choked up. Danny, who was beside Jarad the entire time, put his hand up and placed it on Jarad’s back in a beautiful and completely loving gesture of support, that made ME cry.
But it calmed Jarad, and steadied him enough to finish his testimony.)
I love Danny with all my heart, a love that has grown over the years we have been together. Danny tells me the same. I want my relationship with Danny to be honored. He and I are honorable people and their is no reason our lives and love don’t qualify for marriage.
Please support LD 1020.
No, Jarad and Danny- Thank YOU.