Thursday, November 02, 2006

For the Love of...

Yesterday in the paper, last night on the news, this morning on the radio, we heard again of the ominous threat of gay marriage. Arghhhh! When Susanne and I were married in August of 2005 in Baltimore, it was an AMAZING day filled with love and grace. Just looking at our wedding pictures on my desk make me all dreamy and happy. Our families and friends embraced us both as we experienced a powerful right of passage to begin our new family. Seriously, how does our married life together do anything but bring positive changes to us and our community?

I'd like to share something that we added to the back page of our wedding program. It speaks to this topic much more eloquently than I ever could.

When the Spanish parliament took its historic vote on June 30, 2005 legalizing both gay marriage and adoption of children by gay couples, Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who put the full prestige of his office and party behind passage of the gay human rights legislation -- made probably the most remarkable speech in favor of full equality for those with same-sex hearts ever delivered by a head of government anywhere...

"Honorable members, we are not legislating, for people far away and not known by us. We are enlarging the opportunity for happiness to our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends and, our families: at the same time we are making a more decent society, because a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members.

Today, the Spanish society answers to a group of people that during many years have been humiliated…today the Spanish society grants them the respect they deserve, recognizes their rights, restores their dignity, affirms their identity, and restores their liberty. It is true that they are only a minority, but their triumph is everyone's triumph. It is also the triumph of those who oppose this law, even though they do not know this yet: because it is the triumph of Liberty. Their victory makes all of us (even those who oppose the law) better people, it makes our society better.

Honorable members, there is no danger to marriage or to the concept of family in allowing two people of the same sex to get married. To the contrary, what happens is these set of Spanish citizens get the potential to organize their lives with the rights and privileges of marriage and family. There is no danger to the institution of marriage, but precisely the opposite: this law enhances and respects marriage.

Today, conscious that some people and institutions are in a profound disagreement with this change in our civil law, I wish to express that like other reforms to the marriage code that preceded this one, this law will generate no evil, that its only consequence will be the avoiding of senseless suffering of decent human beings. A society that avoids senseless suffering of decent human beings is a better society.

I wish to express my profound respect to those people and institutions (that oppose this law), and I also want to ask for the same respect for all of those who approve of this law. To the homosexuals that have tolerated personally the abuse and insults for many years, I ask of you that the courage you have demonstrated in your struggle for your civil rights will contribute now an example of generosity and express your happiness with respect to those who think different that you.

With the approval of this Bill, our country takes another step in the path of liberty and tolerance that was stated by the democratic change of government. Our children will look at us with incredibility if we tell them that many years ago, our mothers had less rights than our fathers, or if we tell them that people had to stay married against their will even though they were unable to share their lives. Today we can offer them a beautiful lesson: every right gained, each access to liberty has been the result of the struggle and sacrifice of many people that deserve our recognition and praise. Today we demonstrate with this Bill that societies can better themselves and can cross barriers and create tolerance by putting a stop to the unhappiness and humiliation of some of our citizens."

Well said and so true. We applaud the government of Spain and look forward to a day when our marriage will be recognized by our government. -Monica (and Susanne)

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