I have been overly vocal this week about marriage equality in the state of New York. I have not hidden who or what I am. I openly tell people about my partner and our little one. I am not ashamed of who I am. I have nothing to hide.
As a writer, I use my craft to make political statements. I want the world to see how bogus ignorance is. I want the world to know that I am against discrimination of any kind. I think my books do just that.
In keeping with the themes from Imperfect of love, acceptance, tolerance, etc. I would like to share some letters I have written to local newspaper editor as well as my regional state senator who is FOR bigotry and prejudice.
To the Editor:
New York is on the brink of history as a new marriage equality bill has been introduced. Gay marriage is been heatedly debated for years. Bills have been passed three times by the house, but denied by the state Senate.
Whatever your take on gay marriage, there is one argument in favor of gay marriage that no one can deny: commerce.
Let’s face it, economic times are tough. People have been losing jobs since 2008. There is work to be had, but in many areas of our region it is sparse. Personally, it took me about a year to find any kind of work when I moved back to the area. Ironically, we are hard-working people. People want jobs and are in dire need of an income. New Yorkers needs commerce: we need our economy to pick up again.
What does this have to do with the bill for marriage equality? Believe it or not, everything.
With our current standing on gay marriage, thousands of New York residents are going elsewhere to get married. When they return, the state acknowledges the marriage. So they have the same rights. What we as a state don’t have, though, is the money. We are allowing New Yorkers to leave the state and spend their money on ceremonies and receptions elsewhere when we need it right here!
Since New York already recognizes gay marriages from other states and even other countries, nothing is changing politically if the bill passes here. Homosexual citizens will have the same rights that they have now. The only difference is that they can have their ceremonies and receptions here in New York. Imagine how much better our economic situation would be if New Yorkers could spend their money in New York!
It is projected that marriage equality would bring the state $184 million within the first three years alone. The longer we allow all New Yorkers the same rights, the more money we as a state will revenue. Imagine too, that as another state that performs same-sex marriages the income our state will revenue from out-of-state couples seeking political asylum. New York businesses are dying for customers and New York workers need an income. How we could be helping ourselves economically by passing this bill is mind-boggling. The potential income and creation of jobs are astronomical. We cannot deny New Yorkers an income!
For people who fear the religious implications, fear not. Religious institutions will continue to have the right to decide who they will and will not marry. Churches, temples, synagogues – every religion can choose which ceremonies they will perform. You or your place of worship will not be forced to perform a ceremony if for whatever reason, you deem it improper.
Marriage equality does not mean that a homosexual will show up on your doorstep & place a gun to your head forcing you to marry them. Quite the contrary. It allows them to have the same rights as everyone. It allows them to have the same protections as any other married couple. It allows businesses across the state to have a larger income. So in reality, gay marriage in New York is a win-win for all New Yorkers.
If you are tired of seeing your profit margins decrease; or if you have had to close your doors completely; if you have been looking for a job but haven’t been successful considering our current economic climate, I urge you to look again at the benefits of marriage equality for the state of New York. Money, income, jobs. Things that all New Yorkers are looking for. Things that all New Yorkers need. Marriage equality won’t hurt the state of New York, it will help it tremendously.
Let your senator know that you want a job. Tell him that your income is important to you. Show him that state-wide commerce that can revenue millions in a short period of time is too vital to disregard. It is time that we, as New Yorkers, picked ourselves up from our hurt economy and began prospering again.
Joe Griffo is our state senator, and right now he does not want to allow commerce to stay in our state. He wants to deny all of us that $184 million. He refuses to allow more jobs to be created and to have our profit margins increase instead of decrease. Is that what you really want? We cannot afford to bleed out money when we have already lost so much. If you want to keep your job or get one; if you want to see your business prosper, you need to let Senator Griffo know. Show him who you are. Tell him your story. Mail him your statements showing the decline in your business. It is time that he sees that he is actually hurting our region. As our senator, he needs to look out for our best interest. I personally don’t think denying us a flourishing economy is in our best interest. If you agree, tell him. Let him know that he needs to bring commerce back to our region and our state. Tell him that as a business person, you want him to vote for marriage equality in New York so that we can all profit. Contact him today; we cannot afford another day without pay.
Senator Joe Griffo
Legislative Office Building
188 State St.
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (315) 793-9072
Resident of District 47, concerned and economically affected citizen of New York
A letter to Senator Griffo himself:
My name is Lauren. Two years ago, I met the most incredible person. It didn’t take me long to see the uniqueness in this individual. They were strong, funny, intelligent, incredibly caring – a genuine person. A person like this only comes once in a life time, if you’re lucky.
I knew very quickly that I needed to pack up and move from Las Vegas to up-state NY in order to pursue a love and a life that I had only dreamed of.
I did just that, and it was something I will never regret. In fact, I am happy to announce that we became engaged as of December 7, 2010. There’s only one problem: New York will not allow us to get married here.
Your website says that you are “dedicated to fighting for change.” Sir, it is time that New York changes and allows all of its residents to have equal rights. You need to fight for this change. Change for people like my partner and myself. She and I deserve the right to get married in out home state, not to have to flee to another state as political refugees.
If you listen to the arguments against marriage equality, they are not based on the constitution. The opposition bases their campaign on religion and ignorance. We are not asking anyone to change their religious beliefs. Religion absolutely has its place in life – and in society. However, we live in a democracy, not a theocracy. There needs to be separation of church and state.
Marriage equality is constitutional. Bigotry is not. This is not a luxury. This is a right. Our constitutional right. Though I am by no means a political scholar, I do happen to know that this denial of rights is unconstitutional. The declaration of independence clearly states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” That includes people like me – people like us.
I pay my taxes. I vote. I obey the laws of this country. If I am called to Jury Duty, I go. I do all of these things because they are my obligations as a citizen. I understand the role that I must play in this society. However, I am not given the same rights as a heterosexual, even though my duties and obligations are the same as theirs. This makes absolutely no sense. If I am obligated to our government equally, then our government must be obligated to me equally as well.
Finally, there is one political and economic argument in favor of marriage equality that cannot be denied: commerce. Imagine the revenue that would come if all of us here could marry in our home state. We could spend our money to support New York businesses and help New York workers. The state would benefit greatly from marriage equality just from the revenue alone.
Sir, New York has always been a leading state in this country. We set an example for the rest of America. It is time that we show the world that NY is not a home of prejudice and hatred, but rather of acceptance and equality. It is time for a change. It is time for New York to be a truly equal state. It is time for us to all have equal human rights. Marriage equality is important for society on the whole. If we are truly the land of the free, then we must give all citizens equal rights regardless of gender, color, religion or orientation. Thank you for voting in favor of equality.