I marched with Dr. Martin Luther King. I protested the segregation of Katz drugstore in Des Moines, Iowa. I helped remove the ???White Only??? signs from the Iowa State Capitol building. I fought in Viet Nam as a Marine, and did 2 tours of duty for my country. I serve my religious community as a ???Chevra Kaddisha.??? My greatest battle started in 1980 when I joined ???Act Up??? and ???Queer Nation??? to demand equal rights for the Lesbian, Gay, and Transgendered Community. Same Sex marriage is one of the rights I fought for. On April 3rd, 2009, the Iowa State Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Polk County District Court in Varnum vs. Brien which effectively forced the state to rescind any outstanding discrimination against same sex couples who wish to have their marriages recognized and licensed under state law. Iowa has provided benefits to same-sex partners of state employees since 2003.
Dr. Martin Luther King said in one of his speeches, ???Cowardice asks the question ??“ is it safe Vanity asks the question ??“ is it popular Expediency asks the question ??“ is it political But the conscience asks the question ??“ is it right There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, popular, or political; but because it is right.???
I have faced criticism my whole life, for virtually every major decision I??™ve ever made. I don??™t really let that stand in the way of doing what I think is right. When it comes to supporting gay marriage and equal rights for all it wasn??™t a difficult decision. I would like to know who can give me one good reason why two people who wanted to get married should be prevented from doing so, and why they fell threatened by it. When fair-minded and decent people break the strangle hold of the religious right on their collective consciousness of cultural customs; they will see that they are being ignorant and bigoted by being against same sex marriage. That??™s thanks in a large part to some kind of ???sanctity of marriage??? argument which somehow only applies to the so called ???straight??? people.
My vision of the Supreme Being is a God who loves all his children. My God would not separate one segment of society and subject it to discrimination, Ridicule or unequal rights; that??™s something humans do, not the good Lord. I have been ???married??? in every since of the word once before, even if it wasn??™t recognized by the state. After 7 years he died of liver cancer on March 7th, 1994 seven days before his birthday. The battle was on between his family and I, they were under the impression that everything we worked for, and struggled for was theirs for the taking. WRONG!! They took me to court over our possessions that we had bought together from a joint checking account (they tried to take that also along with our savings account). To make a long story short, the judge ruled in my favor, and ordered his family to pay all legal fees associated with the trial.
Same sex marriage or any marriage is based on mutual love and devotion, to take care and protect each other, to nurture and grow as a couple. We should not have to hide what or who we are because some narrow minded bigots oppose our union. Steve King and VanderPutz are strongly opposed to our choice of who we can marry; I think they are just in the closet, those who protest the loudest??¦.
I will continue to fight, and demand my equal right as guaranteed me by the Constitution of the United States of America. I demand the right of survivorship of my partner, to be able to make death bed decisions, and carry out any last requests. To be recognized as a valuable member, and taxpayer of my community. I have never been in ???the closet??? and never will be, closets are for cloths not for people.