Dear Democrat friends: My Romney vote in no way disrespects same-sex marriage By Lauren Stieritz, November 1, 2012 Yes, I endorse same-sex marriage. Yes, I voted for Mitt Romney. Yes, I can do both of these things. Doug Wright wrote a letter on Facebook to his GOP friends this week, calling them out for their Romney vote, entitled: “Dear Republican friends: Your Romney vote disrespects my marriage.” He states by voting for Romney, one is saying: ”‘My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.’” He goes on to say that Republicans who support gay marriage don’t get to “walk away clean because (they) say (they) ‘disagree’ with (their) candidate on certain issues.” But the fact of the matter is such: Same-sex marriage will not be legalized on a federal level should President Obama be elected for a second term. And as long as the issue remains on the conservative platform, it doesn’t stand a chance. But pro-gay Republicans are out there. I am one of them and I stand by this. Sure, Obama endorsed same-sex marriage on national television. But as Romney stated in the first debate, “Let’s look at the president’s policies as opposed to his rhetoric.” “Mr. Obama’s announcement has little substantive impact — as an aide said, ‘It’s not like we’re trying to pass legislation,’” according to the NY Times report on the endorsement. Yes, Obama successfully repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” in 2010. And Romney has since agreed not to reinstate the act should he be elected, and the progress that has been made will endure. If I (and others that share my position) don’t vote for my conservative and Republican values and remain a voting member of the party I belong to, the party will have no gay advocates and the current laws, standpoints and struggles of the legalization of same-sex marriage will continue to sit at a halt. If we don’t start now, moving toward making gay OK in the Republican Party, we don’t even come close to a chance at “hope” and “change”. Romney was recently asked what he would do if one of his family members were gay. He responded, “I love my children, and I love my grandchildren, and of course I’d want them to be happy. My view is this: individuals should be able to pursue a relationship of love and respect and raise a family as they would choose. I would like to have the term ‘marriage’ continue to be associated with a relationship between one man and one woman, and that certainly doesn’t prevent two people of the same gender living in a loving relationship together having a domestic partnership, if you will.” Romney may not be in support of equal marriage for all. Just like the majority of Republicans. It takes time. This does not mean I disrespect it. I will not vote against every one of my views for a president who stands for less than a handful of my social values. I will not conform to a party I don’t believe in for an issue that will not change. I will not conform to following a president that has nothing to offer me but lip service. The gay rights movement will not fully take stride until the U.S. — Republican Party included — accepts being gay as part of our culture. It will take time — just as every other civil rights movement has. But without more gay and gay-ally Republicans we cannot do this. Until gay marriage is accepted by both parties and removed as a political platform and agenda, it will not work. Right now, we need to focus on getting our economy back. Right now, we need to focus on becoming a country where we don’t have to move in with our parents after we graduate. This is what we need right now. I believe Romney to be a leader: a leader with experience as a successful businessman and a record that proves as much. He’s the one that will get this country back on its feet and will do it with his knowledge and expertise in the area. Just as any other American, I want what is best for my family, my community and myself. I want us headed in a direction where I won’t have to worry about my future children being able to find work. In these values, I am supported by Romney. We can make steps in the right direction by embracing same-sex marriage culturally, but right now — Romney is a logically better step toward a brighter future and Obama is a leader who will only continue to falter over his strategically placed rhetoric. I love my gay friends just as I love my straight friends — know that I am not disrespecting you when I say I am voting for Mitt Romney.
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