October 11th, 2012

Gil Marsh cover

To my Minnesotan readers (and Maine, and Washington, and wherever you live)

This week my daughter and I are volunteering at Minnesotans United for All Families in Minneapolis, to work against an amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would ban gay marriage. It has been an exhausting but extremely rewarding experience.

Why, you may ask, would someone from Connecticut, someone from a state where gay marriage is legal, fly halfway around the country to volunteer? After all, how does it affect me? 

The simplest answer is that I come from a large extended family. We have settled everywhere in the U.S., from the Northeast, to the South, the Midwest, the Rockies, the Southwest, the West Coast, and everywhere in between. 

And yes, I have family in Minnesota, too. And one of my children studies here.

If she loves a woman, then I will embrace her partner--I will love whom she loves. That's how families are built.

And if she decides to marry a woman, I'd love to have her come home and get married in Connecticut. But she shouldn't have to. She should be able, like every married person in our large family, to chose a wonderful spot that has meaning to her and her spouse to be. And once she is married, regardless of whom she marries, the marriage should be recognized, everywhere.

This last week I heard a heart-wrenching story. A man told me how he had been with his partner for over 30 years. They had signed one contract and legal document after another to make sure that in case of illness or death, they could each take care of each other as they would have wished. Despite that, despite every care and foresight, when his partner died, he wasn't permitted to move his partner's body: they had to get his partner's elderly mother to give approval. This is recently. In Minnesota.

No one should have to face that. No one in my family should have to face that. None of the children in my family should have to even think about that.

Wherever you may live, think about how banning gay marriage hurts people. Real people. 

I am here because I will love whomever my children love. And I want them to be able to do so freely.