Same-sex marriage is about rights
TO THE EDITORS:
I am writing about the article regarding the marriage equality vigil held in Lancaster on March 26. I appreciate reporter Karen Shuey's effort to talk to people and get an idea of why we were there. I would like to clarify that neither I nor my friends made the statement that we are proud of our sexuality and don't care who knows it. While I do try to live an authentic life, I am neither proud of nor ashamed of my sexuality.
Obviously, gay rights issues are based upon sexual orientation. If women weren't drawn to women, or men to men, gay rights battles would not exist. I object to this characterization of my remarks because it does not accurately convey what I said and, more importantly, because for so many people, sex is what comes to mind immediately when issues around gay equality are brought up. They don't see the middle-aged couple who has been together for 20 or more years, dealing with the same life decisions as any legally married heterosexual couple.
They don't see the shattered world of a woman who must defer to the wishes of "blood" relatives when her long-term partner dies. They don't see gay couples living the same day-to-day lives as heterosexual couples -- going to work, paying bills and caring for children and elderly parents.
Our conversation with the reporter was not about sexuality. It was about wanting gay couples to have equal rights when it comes to finances, taxes, end-of-life and medical decisions. It was about what happens when one partner in the relationship dies, and relatives can take the couple's jointly owned property. It was about the often painful process of coming out to spouses and children. It was about the wedding of my daughter and son-in-law, where they affirmed their support of marriage equality by having a dear gay friend do a reading from the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.
And it was about our faith that one day sexual orientation will be a non-issue.