Marriage Equality – a personal viewpoint

Ray John Rodriguez - Longmont, CO

Ray John Rodriguez - Longmont, CO

Open Letter to Governor Chris Christie and his Vote Against Marriage Equality:

Dear New Jersey Governor Chris Christie,

I am writing this open letter in the hopes that you or someone you know or someone who can vote in your state will read.

I remember watching you on Oprah’s Next Chapter where she shared dinner with you and your lovely wife and kids. What an engaging, thoughtful and charismatic man you proved to be to me. Today you vetoed the Marriage Equality bill that was passed by the New Jersey Legislature. I guess that’s politics for you.

As a young gay man from Longmont, Colorado, this issue is very important to me. I know that Marriage Equality is only one step in the right direction for full human equality, yet some may assume that Equality is a single issue. In fact they look down on it politically as such. When Marriage Equality affects every aspect of those who are in a loving family, explain to me how this is just one issue. Inheritance (yes if you die your life-long partner if not protected by marriage can be robbed of all that you earned together by distant relatives because the law doesn’t consider you anything more than a roommate), hospital visitation (imagine going to say goodbye and denied the last words together), employment (yes in America you can still be fired JUST for being gay), homelessness (if you are kicked out of your home by your parents because you are gay, 1 in 4 gay high school students face this reality). Explain to me how Equality is ONE issue.

While I respect people’s right to adhere to their private and personal religious values, there is a difference between that and having their religious values literally enforced on the rest of society by robbing rights of those who do not share their religion. In ten years when LGBT Equality is a reality, my husband and my children will look back at votes like yours the way people look at white supremists today. Definition of supremist: One who takes supreme authority for him/herself; one who believes in the supremacy of one race, sex, or social group.

Mr. Chris Christie, you believe only heterosexuals deserve Marriage. By definition that makes you a heterosexual supremist. It took one vote that affects the community in so many ways to paint you in such a dark light. In time, you might be deserving of another episode of Oprah’s Next Chapter. However right now, the way I feel for my gay brothers and sisters in New Jersey, you are but a footnote in Americas Timeline that needs to be elected out. I guess that’s politics for you. In the words of State Senator Pat Steadman, “…the kind that puts people in the back of the bus.”

Respectfully Yours,

Ray Rodriguez

  5 comments for “Marriage Equality – a personal viewpoint

  1. February 18, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Thanks for speaking out Ray. It’s not going to change until people realize that separating people is NOT civilized.

  2. February 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Beautifully written, Ray. If Christie wasn’t in the vice of a Republican Party gone nuts, he might not have vetoed the legislation. He’s not a complete dummy; he knows which side his political bread is buttered.

  3. Kathy Partridge
    February 18, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    Thank you for this piece, Ray Rodriguez. I know in a few short years we will celebrate the day when we look back on these times with as much shock as the day when it was illegal for a black person and a white person to marry. The arc of justice bends toward love, and we are standing on the side of love.

  4. Joani Burtard
    February 20, 2012 at 12:56 am

    What a beautifully written letter, Ray. I am posting it on my facebook page and will aspire to use your calm, articulate, persuasive writing skills in my own letters to people in power.

  5. Greg Sanders
    March 1, 2012 at 10:39 am

    You are very right Ray. In real life, this discrimination means real pain for many people in very concrete ways. Religion is often put forward to deny this civil right. It boggles the mind that these so called religous people are the most heartless, intolerant, selfish, unsensensible persons. It is just the perfect opposite of the teaching of the Gospel.

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