Every few days, this pops up in my Facebook newsfeed:
“Sally Jones [insert actual name of ill-informed and/or bigoted Republican] and 14 other friends like Mitt Romney.”
Most of these people are long lost acquaintances. I’m guessing we would not become friends if we were to meet in real life today. A few of them are old college pals who I befriended knowing – and always fiercely disagreeing with – their political views. But, a handful of these people are blood relatives and friends who I actually like and have relationships with in real life. These people know I am a lesbian, and I’m pretty sure they like me anyway. In fact, when I marry a woman in January, some of these Romney supporters will be there!
Photos from Getty
I can deal with the fact that the girl I sat next to in high school French class intends to vote for Mitt Romney tomorrow. But the people who are actually in my real life, who know me and my fiancée, who have indicated to me that they support our upcoming marriage – it’s hard to believe that they’re getting ready to cast a vote that will seal my fate as a second-class citizen in this country. Considering I live in a blue state and come from a long line of Democrats, it’s truly frightening to me how many Romney supporters I am “friends” with – online and off.
I’m guessing many of you have people like this in your lives, too. In a lot of cases, these people actually do support gay marriage, they’re just – say it with me – fiscal conservatives. When you get into political debates with these people, they’re quick to remind you that they “have no problem with gay people getting married,” but they think Mitt Romney “is going to do a better job with the economy” – as if that is a valid defense for voting against equality that is long overdue.
Here’s what that actually means: “I’m kind of sorry that you and your gay lover can’t get married, but if it means I might lose any money at all, then I don’t really care.”
Now, for people who are actually extremely wealthy and might make a few bucks under a Romney administration, I can kind of, sort of, maybe understand this argument. I still find it morally reprehensible, but at least their bigotry is based in a bit of fact.
But what is really sad is that most of the people who make the “I support gay marriage, but I’m a fiscal conservative” argument aren’t wealthy at all. Some of them are even downright poor, unemployed or underemployed! These people have nothing to gain from a Romney win.
I don’t know how they do it, but the Republican party is quite skilled at making people believe that they are just one Republican vote away from becoming millionaires – that if they just pull that lever for Mitt Romney tomorrow, they will instantly be ushered into the 1% club, where they will enjoy endless tax breaks, barrels of single malt scotch and fleets of private jets. It doesn’t work like that, guys. You don’t have to take my word for it. Read a history book. Or enroll in Economics 101. Or pick up a newspaper. If it were that easy to become a multi-millionaire, it would be the “43% club” or at least like the “17% club.” But it’s not. It’s the 1% club, and if you’re not already a part of it, you probably never will be.
To all of you “Joe the Plumbers” out there: I’ve got some tough news for you. If you were plumber when Bill Clinton was president, and then when George W. Bush became president, you remained a plumber. And now Barack Obama has been president for almost four years, and you are still a plumber, I hate to break it to you, but you are always going to be a plumber. No offense to the trade. I respect your work and rely on it on a daily basis, in fact. But you, my friend, are going to be a plumber regardless of who wins tomorrow’s election.
Also, it’s worth noting that you can be very rich and also support gay marriage. Last time I checked, Bill Gates was not short on cash, and he donated $500,000 to marriage equality. Same goes for Brad Pitt. He’s an Oscar-winning actor, has a villa in France and a super hot wife, and he gave $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign’s National Marriage Fund. See, you don’t have to be an a—hole to be a bazillionaire.
Bill Gates and Brad Pitt aren’t afraid their bank accounts will suddenly be drained if a couple of gals or two dudes want to get married, and you, my Republican “friends” shouldn’t be scared, either. But, if you do choose to vote for Romney, I respectfully request that you double the wedding gift you were planning to give me. You’re going to have all that extra money from those tax breaks, so it really shouldn’t be a problem. Thanks! xoxo
My only other hope (fear?) is that the Republicans who say they support equality for gay people but plan to vote for Romney anyway is that they simply don’t understand just how far this man wants to roll back our rights. So, on this eve before a very important election, I believe it is my duty (and yours) to set the record straight. Maybe we’ll change at least a few hearts and minds.
To all of you people who think Mitt Romney is just going to “fix the economy” and not take aggressive action against equality for gay men and lesbians, please consider the facts. And you don’t have to read about it in some obscure liberal publication. It’s all right there on Romney’s official website.
Romney’s website states very clearly: “Marriage should only be between a man and a woman.” Not mincing any words there. To add insult to injury, he doesn’t even support marriage’s redheaded stepchild: civil unions. Seriously, Mitt? Even George W. Bush supports civil unions. And he’s from Texas.
You know how Republicans love states’ rights so much? Well, apparently that value only applies when it’s convenient and furthers their agenda. Like many other Republicans, Mitt Romney (again, on his own website) makes it very clear that if he gets his chance he will work for a federal constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage:
“I join with those who support a federal constitutional amendment. Massachusetts has a law that attempts to restrain this infringement by restricting marriages of out-of-state couples to those where no impediment to marry exists in their home state. Even with this law, valid same-sex marriages will migrate to other states. For each state to preserve its own power in relation to marriage, a federal amendment to define marriage is necessary.”
He’s not even content to let the good people of Iowa or New York, for example, decide for themselves whether to have legal gay marriage. So much for states’ rights.
And then there’s the really offensive stuff. After gay marriage was legalized in Massachusetts in 2003, Romney tried to block the state’s efforts to change birth certificate forms to read “father or second parent,” insisting that every time a child was born to a same-sex couple that a case-by-case review would be performed to determine whether those parents could be named on their baby’s birth certificate. If you think that’s OK, I have to wonder whether you have a heart. Here’s what he said on the matter in 2005:
“Some gays are actually having children born to them. It’s not right on paper. It’s not right in fact. Every child has a right to a mother and father.’’
It’s not just full marriage equality Mitt Romney wants to deny gay people. Based on his past comments, I’m truly afraid that he’ll work to take away some of our most basic rights – like visiting a sick partner or child in the hospital. In 1995, Massachusetts mom Julie Goodridge’s partner Hillary was denied entry to the ICU when the couple’s infant daughter was sick. Several years later when Romney was working against the legalization of gay marriage in Massachusetts, Goodridge asked Romney how she should explain to her daughter that her moms couldn’t legally get married. Here was Romney’s cold-hearted reply:
“I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her what you’ve been telling her for the last eight years?”
It shouldn’t even matter, but Goodridge’s daughter is her biological child and not adopted. Aside from not being able to get the facts straight, that comment makes it shockingly clear what Mitt Romney thinks of gay people and our families.
If you love a gay person or “totally have tons of gay friends,” we ask that you think long and hard tonight about how you will vote tomorrow. Marriage equality is the civil rights issue of our time, and you have a choice tomorrow to either stand on the right side of history or on the wrong side. Hint: You’re going to be really embarrassed in about 10 years if you stand on the wrong side. Trust us.
If Mitt Romney is elected president, the ramifications for us will be devastating and very, very real. Before you check that box, in hope that you might save a few hundred bucks on your taxes, we urge you to consider what our dignity is worth. When that day comes when your lesbian daughter can’t sit with her sick wife in the hospital or when your gay friend at work goes bankrupt because his husband isn’t covered by your company’s health insurance policy – and those things will happen – will your Romney vote have been worth it?
Dear readers, before you go to bed tonight, please share this with all of your friends and family who are considering voting for Romney or send them your own impassioned plea and post it here. And if all else fails, steal their cars so they can’t get to the polls. JK! Kind of.