Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Reason #1 Why My Marriage is Just Like Yours

We want a better world for our children.

This post marks the end of my blog series “28 Ways My Marriage is Just Like Yours.” To be perfectly honest, when I started this almost a month ago, I had absolutely no confidence whatsoever that I would finish it. I was doubtful that I would be able to even think of 28 reasons and not entirely sure I would be able to write every single day. As followers of this blog are well aware, I am kind of a slug of a blogger on a occasion. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that I could easily keep going. I suppose my marriage is much more like yours than I had initially believed. And that’s the point, after all, isn’t it? Gay people and straight people are much more similar than we are different.

We want the same things. We want respect. We want equality. We want the freedom to marry the person we love. Just like you. We want to raise our children with the same legal protections that you have. We want to make health care decisions for one another. We want to provide for one another if something tragic ever happens to one of us. We want to be able to cover one another on our insurance policies. Just like you. We want to have a term for one another that expresses the full reality of our relationship. “Partner” just doesn’t cut it. We want our children to understand that there are legal and social and moral forces in place that make our family secure. We want our children to know that our family is just like every other family and we will always be there for them. No matter what. We want to create a better world for our children. Just like you.

In the better world that Ruanita and I imagine, love trumps hate. Acceptance trumps fear. Similarities trump differences. In the world we imagine, our children will grow up seeing people as people. Not as a color or creed or gender or nationality or disability or sexual orientation. People will be people. And all people will be worthy of the same respect. Just like you, we want our kids to grow up respected and respecting others. In the world we imagine, fear-mongering has no power. Hate has no pull. Selfish motives are transparent. Intolerance is not tolerated. People are judged by their actions alone.

This is the world we want our children to grow up in. This is the world we want our grandchildren to know. For this reason, this election is personal for me. It should be personal for you. Gay or straight, this election is about people. We have a choice today. Minnesotans can make the choice to move toward the world we want for our children. The world our children deserve. Or we can make the choice to turn our backs on the ways we are the same and give into fear and intolerance.

Either way, my family will still be here tomorrow. We will still be a family. We will still love our children. Ruanita and I will still be a couple. Gay families will not cease to exist simply because the state of Minnesota—or any other state, for that matter—wants to pretend we are not here. We are here to stay. One day our children, my children and your children, will look back on this day and either rejoice in the beginning of the end of discrimination in Minnesota or lament the day their parents got it all wrong. The day their parents made their world that much harder. That much more difficult for them to fix. But they will fix it. I am confident, one way or another, the world we want for our children will come to fruition. Our kids will grow up in a better world than the one we grew up in.

That is my wish. That is my dream. That is my goal. That is why this election is so emotionally charged for me. That is why this election matters to me and should matter to you.

Wanting a better world for our children is one more way that my marriage is just like your marriage.

Now get the hell out there and VOTE NO!!


Madgew said...

Shannon, I have so enjoyed all your blogs about your family and its sameness. Having stayed at your home with you and Ruanita and your terrific children, I KNOW you are the same as me in love, family and should have all the rights I was afforded when I was married. I will fight for those rights for you forever. I have your back and I love you and your family with all my soul.

Shannon Ralph said...

Well said, sister of mine, well said! I still hate your dog.....just sayin:)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why that posted as your comment, I think you we're signed into my iPad. Anyway, I, your sister, Jennifer, made that last comment:)

Anonymous said...

Shannon, I have so enjoyed this series. I wish that more of the general public had also been enlightened. As my son Zachary asked his fellow students in his Government class last week "How will two men or two women affect your relationship or marriage? It doesn't!" Thanks for your eloquently worded reason why MY Marriage is just like everyone else! Your Friend, Mariah

Jessica said...

Alright now, how do you NOT have a post up for today yet? I'm waiting... ;)

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