What is in the water out in Wyoming?
There's now a second straight GOP politician from there, Pat Childers, father of a lesbian daughter, writing me notes explaining why he stood up for gay equality, in a state where we don't think gays would have much support, and I am privileged to share his words with you.
We gays have a responsibility to work with promoting any and of all of the GOP pols who last month did the right thing, and share their stories, which involved and include lesbian relatives.
Seems a no-brainer that if gays and our allies outside of Wyoming can educate ourselves about and reach out to the Zwonitzers and Childerses and their allies and families, and learn more about their political interests, like future gay/HIV related legislation.
Oh, and just continue to have a dialogue with these friendly GOP folks, who really are the political opposite of this queer Green person with HIV in gay Mecca. I've derived great pleasure just talking and emailing the Wyoming guys, and connecting as American people, who just happen to agree on one thing: Equal legal treatment for gays.
Hey, Pat. You're a good papa and I hope not just your lesbian daughter and her partner, but your entire family are giving you some extra love and appreciation for speaking up for gay equality, and voting in our favor, my friend.
Here are Pat Childers' emails:
Thank you for your support on my testimony about my daughter. Sadly, the press did not print all the facts. I had stated that this bill would not impact my daughters rights since
Montana, her residence, and both have definitions for marriage to be between a man and a woman. I did say that the bill was pure discrimination and I will continue to fight such legislation. Wyoming
Representative Pat Childers,
straight, happily married for 44 years, three children (one gay), two granddaughters and a Republican.
Just like with Dan, I asked Pat to send me any written recollection of his remarks, and received a reply:
I didn’t have a speech prepared. I simply told a simple story about my family and told the Rules committee how the legislation was simply wrong. I tried to separate how the legal aspect of marriage from the religious aspect.
My youngest son wanted to have the same anniversary as my wife and I. He and his wife signed the legal papers on Sept. 1 in a Starbucks Coffee Bar during the week. Their religious ceremony was held with the family attending the next weekend.
Another example that I gave was that I was left-handed, born that way. My mother was left-handed but forced to write right-handed by tying her left hand behind her back. People do not do things that way now.
Growing up in the south, I also told about the discrimination against blacks.
I then told them that my daughter was a highly intelligent woman and functioning quite well in an independent business in
and that she was gay. She and her partner live a quiet life in her community. Montana
I had researched our statutes and provided seven pages, single spaced, of statute cites (statute number with a few words of description) noting where marriage was tied to civil rights of couples.
Those statutes, if gay couples married out of the state were to move to
, would deny them their civil rights under the proposed law. Our definition of marriage has been in place since the late 1800’s and does define it as a civil contract between a man and a woman. Wyoming
It does not make it right with the understanding of human makeup as known today.
I’m sorry that I can’t remember all of what I said.