Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Thankful - Day #7

Today we are thankful that this will be our first couple for four more years.

We are thankful that our nieces and nephews will see more people in our government who look like them.

We are thankful that marriage equality continues to move forward.

(Photo: Connie Kopelov, 84 (R) and her wife Phyllis Siegel, 76, hold up a marriage certificate and celebrate as they exit the Manhattan City Clerks office after getting married July 24, 2011 in New York City. By Daniel Barry/Getty Images.)

A personal note from Melissa:
I remember four years ago being overjoyed at Barack Obama's election and in the same moment being sad that my home state of California had voted against marriage equality. This time, four years later, I see progress and continue to long for more. I'm thankful to the voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington. As I look towards the future and raising human beings, I am hopeful that they will live in a country that affords them the right to marry and to build a life with whomever they love.

I have made an evolution, much like the President, over time on this issue. I blindly believed what others said and used phrases like "Love the sinner, but hate the sin." Guess what? I was wrong. Each person deserves to be treated with dignity and equality under the law of this land. My dear ones who love someone of the same sex love them no less, no more, no better, and no worse than I do. If I love my friends, don't I want them to be able to visit their spouse in the hospital? Don't I want them to be able to sign the same contracts that Chris and I can? Don't I want them to be able to make decisions about the children that they lovingly raise?

My life experience tells me that a biological relationship does not define a parent's love. I love my biological sisters with the same love that I love my adopted sisters with. I hate even calling them adopted, because people don't always get that all four of my sisters are my REAL sisters. I know that because of my parents' love and commitment to us, they deserved to be a part of the decisions that shaped our lives. I watch my friends raising children with the same love and commitment that my parents have, but they live their lives in fear that depending on which state they are visiting, or the personal views of some hospital administrator, one of them could be excluded from participating in their own child's medical or personal decisions. They may not even be allowed in the hospital room to comfort their family. I don't see separating parents from their children as a family value that reflects anything but ignorance. I don't see any negative that can come from all people being able to make a public and legal commitment to love a person for the rest of their loves and to build a family together.

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