So a while back, Rep. Maureen Walsh (Rep., Walla Walla, WA) spoke very eloquently about why she supports gay marriage. I watched the video and was moved to drop her a quick note, as I am sure that she would be getting plenty of unpleasant correspondence from certain members of her constituency. And others.
I neither required nor expected a reply. I just wanted to let her know how much I appreciated what she said, and the courage it took to say it.
Here’s what I said:
SUBJECT: Thank you so much
Dear Rep. Walsh,
I just wanted to drop you a line about your statements at the gay marriage vote yesterday. Don’t worry, this isn’t hate mail.
I’m a lesbian, I’ve been out for twenty years (so I guess it’s not a phase). I live in (the city I live in). I have a partner who I want very much to make my wife. We’ve been together for going on four years, and I cannot imagine my life without her. She is my best friend and the Alpha to my Omega. We understand each other in ways that I never imagined possible. We’re ridiculously happy.
We signed up for the “Merry Maids franchise” a couple of years ago, and it was less than satisfying. We found that we could register by mail or in person. So much for separate but equal. Can straight folk get married by filing out a form and mailing it with a check? Sure it’s convenient, but it doesn’t exactly feel like a momentous, life-changing event to drop an envelope into a mailbox.
We drove to the office in Olympia where it could be done in person. While we were there, I found, we could also renew a business license. This isn’t exactly the soul of romance, is it?
Moving on to the other benefits of marriage… the domestic partnership affords a few of these, but to gain others we have to engage a lawyer and shell out thousands of dollars, and frankly some just cannot be had, for instance on the federal level, survivor benefits and so forth. We are both nurses, and I would love to get a federal job, but too many benefits cannot be extended to my family (we have three young children between us) for me to consider this.
But to me it’s not about those issues. It’s about the fact that because one of us lacks a certain anatomical feature, we are told that our relationship is less than normal and not on par with that of a heterosexual couple. Any two straight folk can get married for any reason they like, financial, sexual, just for kicks. But we can’t get married for the noblest of reasons.
I know that you know all this, I’m just venting. All this railing against the system can be a bit wearying.
I wanted to let you know that I found your comments to be touching, very much addressing the heart of the issue, and despite your disclaimer, so eloquent. I thank you for your support and I want you to know that for every hater who makes hurtful comments to you about your vote and your statement, there are a thousand grateful gays and lesbians who thank God for you today.
Today, I got a reply. It was brief, but I still appreciated it. Here it is:
Thank you Debra – You vent beautifully! Maureen
I don’t want to post a link that might break, but I’m sure that the video will be around for a long while. You can reach it by googling Rep. Maureen Walsh.
Oh, and the “Merry Maids franchise” refers to a comment she made in her statement, about how much she dislikes the term “domestic partner.” She said it sounded like a Merry Maids franchise. For this I love her.