Posts Tagged ‘immigration’

Letter to Congress

February 22, 2010

I’m a lifelong resident of Minnesota and very proud to be so.

But that’s not why I’m writing to you today.

The other night, I had a long conversation with a dear friend of mine, who, because he’s gay, is unable to be with the man he loves because of restrictive immigration laws. They met in Florida a few years back, but it all ended when a work visa expired and his partner had to return to Jamaica. It was a very emotional conversation, and whereas I knew of his predicament, it wasn’t until that night that I felt the full gravity of what he goes through.

I’ve heard many arguments on both sides regarding why gays and lesbians should or shouldn’t be able to marry. Seeing those arguments unceremoniously presented on paper says one thing, but it’s a different matter all together when you see how these decisions made at the government level affect real people trying to be happy in lives that are looked down upon because of who they are. I’m a strong proponent for GLBT rights, but that night I had a newfound disgust in the pit of my stomach for the plight of so many citizens of this country that we proclaim to be the freest nation on Earth.

As a straight man, who’s been married and is currently going through a divorce, I hadn’t realized exactly what it is I take for granted. Almost on a whim, my wife and I decided to get married. We never thought twice about our ability to do so. So when I saw my friend, finally presenting the agony he’s been feeling for so long, I felt truly ashamed to be able to have certain rights, and take them for granted, while he could only yearn for them.

I’ve decided that I am not going to remarry. If in the near or distant future I find myself with a woman who I love, I will be with her, but I will not reenter an institution that is biased against so many. Not until marriage is an institution that is inclusive to all consenting adults.

At minimum, I urge you to support the Uniting American Families Act that will allow my friend to sponsor his partner. But truly, I urge you to do all in your capacity as a representative from Minnesota to create equality for all citizens: straight or gay.

Thank you very much for your time.

(If you agree that there are unjust laws in this country, I ask each and every one of you to do at least the minimum you can, and write a letter yourself.)