Becoming the Guy Who Yells At the Small Town Newspaper

We won’t move to our new house in Winchester for another week—but I’ve already written my first grumpy message to the editor of the local flagship newspaper. Lord help me. I read my soon-to-be-hometown paper for the first time and, lo and behold, 4 of the 5 editorial pieces are slamming gay people. Are you kidding me?  If this isn’t a fluke, I predict I’ll be the offline version of “angry article comment writing guy” in no time.  Kyle will have to hide my quill and ink lest I send old-fashioned newspaper rants every day.get-off-my-lawn

Not until opening that editorial page did I realize how insulated I have been since high school (and coming out)–living in reliable, friendly places for social liberals–Champaign, Chicago, DC, Reston.  Winchester, VA is much more like my hometown of Bradley, IL…except with a slightly more conservative bite. I’m not complaining, local politics are much more fun when there is real disagreement. I’m looking forward to it.

I only write this post for two reasons: (1) To have a place to post this, because I’m sure the newspaper won’t touch it; (2) To remind those interested that we are nearing VERY important Supreme Court arguments that will decide the gay rights issue once and for all (April 28th). Fingers crossed.

Anyway, what I sent the honorable Adrian O’Connor, editorial chief of the venerable Winchester Star:

Is Winchester welcoming of all couples? On a recent editorial page (Friday, April 3rd), four of the five pieces directly or indirectly referenced same-sex couples as bullies, fanatical activists, or downright threats to society.

angryOne piece in particular (“For all the re-definition…) sought to warn the community of looming disaster if the United State Supreme Court upholds lower court rulings that would allow my fiance and I to marry. We are a gay couple and are exciting about moving to the area after buying a home in the Winchester Historic District. The editorial noted that our marriage would not be “normal” because our “chosen sexual behavior isn’t natural.” It went on to suggest that our marriage must be stopped for the sake of the children and grandchildren of Winchester. Really? I would assume, considering that the lives of children are apparently threatened if gay couples marry, that the author would much prefer if my fiance and I did not move into the area at all.  

The editorial argues that gay couples should not be given the right to marry because “the differences in motives, purposes, and practices that define homosexual and heterosexual unions are so great that the English language screams for definitive specificity.” By writing that sentence, I can only assume that the author does not actually know any gay couples.

To allay our future neighbors’ fears, we’d like to share the “motives, purposes, and practices that define our homosexual union.” We are getting married as a lifelong commitment…

  • To Provide one another with unerring emotional support during life’s inevitable challenges.
  • To Have a constant companion to share in life’s joys and triumphs.
  • To Build and care for a home, sprucing up our small corner of the world.
  • To Act as a strong unit to give back to our community in volunteer work, tax dollars, and participation in local organizations.
  • To Protect each of us individually from financial setbacks or career challenges.
  • To Blend our collective families, providing a larger net of trusted friends and confidants.  
  • To Challenge each other to grow beyond our own interests and explore new ideas, hobbies, and adventures.
  • To Push one another to pursue our real passions, regardless of our fears or worries
  • To Provide love, support, and care for a child who needs a safe and stable home.
  • To Ensure care, aid, and support to one another as we age, become disabled, and need to adapt in the twilight of life.
  • To Be a final smiling face one as we transition from this life to whatever lies beyond.

Sexual orientation has zero bearing on the motives, purposes, and practices of two individuals spending their lives together. Allowing my fiance and I to share in the benefits and obligations of marriage will not only benefit us personally, it will also make our new Winchester community stronger.

History Will Remember

The Minnesota legislature is having the same debate as Illinois regarding gay marriage.  One former Republican state representative in the state gave a powerful testimony on the issue.  She was emotional while explaining how her 2002 vote against equality was something she has regretting ever since.  Take two minutes to listen (and maybe send along to your own wavering legislator in Illinois)…

This Can’t Be the Christian Moderate

I’m only posting this because Rick Warren is always trumpeted out as the “moderate” evangelical…the one who tries to get away from all the Holier-Than-Thou nonsense.  But if this is the moderate guy, things are worse than I thought.

Christian Post summarized Warren’s remarks this Sunday when speaking on the election…

“You don’t need to apologize for voting for a Christian worldview which stands up for the sanctity of life, the sanctity of sex and the sanctity of marriage. You don’t need to apologize for that because everybody votes what they believe.”

The Southern California pastor said those three issues (life, sex, marriage) are non-negotiables for Christians. While they may disagree on the economy or health care, what believers must be firm on is protecting the unborn, viewing sex as holy, and protecting traditional marriage.

If you call yourself a Christian, you need to line up with what God says is the original intent of all three of these things,” he preached.

I have no quibble with Warren’s assessment of  the real Christian view of life, sex, and marriage.

What staggers me is the blind assumption that you HAVE to vote for a candidate who agrees with Warren on these three things otherwise you are not a Christian.  Really?  So apparently Christians are not allowed to have their own ideas about federalism or the general role of government.

Why can’t a Christian think: “I believe gay marriage is wrong based on the Bible.  But I don’t think the government should be forcing my distinction on everyone. Therefore, I support the legalization of gay marriage while believing in its immorality.”  Apparently this is not allowed in Warren’s preaching.  And this is the moderate?

No Words

The vote for marriage equality in Maine draws near.  Polls show a deadlock, 48% to 48%.  As a refresher, the Maine legislature passed a bill legalizing gay marriage.  The governor signed it, making it law.  Shortly after, a citizen referendum was spearheaded to overturn the legislative decision.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have released two more ads.  I have no words.  Confession: my ability to offer any sort of objective comment on these things has long ago disappeared.  To me, these are hateful, sad displays that will be cringed at years from now.   But that could simply be a product of my clear bias.  Consider for yourself, I suppose…

FYI: Upcoming Marriage Battle in Maine

There is another marriage battle brewing that has yet to be mentioned on this page.

Location: Maine (the state in the northeast corner of the country; most famously known for its rolling trees and as the setting for 98% of horror films).

The gist: Maine became the 5th state to legalize gay marriage when the Governor signed a bill passed by the legislature in mid-May of this year.  Hooray.  But some not so happy folks were able to get a referendum on the Maine ballot for this election cycle which would  eliminate that right for gay couples.  Hmmm.

What’s next: Maine voters will decide on Nov. 3rd whether or not their gay citizens should no longer be allowed to marry.  The same old faces (on both sides of the debate) have been roiling up controversy for the past several months.  By same old faces, I mean the courageous folks who gave us the Prop 8 passage in California.  And round we go again…

What’s interesting: The opponents of gay marriage were so happy with their victory in California, that they decided to copy the exact same ad and run it in Maine.  And so without further ado, from the folks known as “YesonOne,” I give you the award-winning ad from California, now playing on a television near you in Maine:

Tomorrow 8:30AM CST

The Iowa Supreme Court will let us know if it finds that the Iowa Constitution requires same-sex couples be allowed to marry.  If the answer is yes it will be the first Midwest state and by far the most conservative to have thus declared.

For the record, I’d be a one happy fella if Illinois bucked the trend and passed full marriage rights via the legislature before any court action.  Not likely…but it could happen.  It’d be seen as a badge of honor for the state years from now.