Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another Good WY GOP Pol, Father of Lesbian Daughter on His Pro-Gay Vote

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 Wyoming 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.

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 Montana and that she was gay. She and her partner live a quiet life in her community.

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 Wyoming, 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.

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.

Pat Childers


calugg said...

One thing I've stressed to my conservative relatives is how my rights as a citizen depends upon which state I reside (marriage, inhereitence, hospital visitation, etc). Once I've explained how might rights are constrained in most states, they get angry.

Most GOP folks (not wing-nuts) do believe in equal citizenship. When you start pointing out how LGBT people DO NOT have equal rights in very real areas of life, a light bulb goes off. I've been amazed and gratified by their reactions.

Harvey Milk was right. You have to be totally out to have these conversations. ANd only then, after some heartfelt conversations, can non-queer people really understand.

THANKS for your work in supporting gay-positive GOP pols. We need to support our friends--regardless of party. That's the path towards full citizenship.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps we should all move to Wyoming. It is very scenic in addition to apparently being pro-gay. However, it's quite cold in the winter.

Regan said...

I went to Casper, WY as guests of a gay couple, Jason and Guy at their commitment ceremony.
They are tremendously intelligent and after a lot of travel and work in more exotic or busier cities, the went back home to work and serve their state and city, respectively.
It was a beautiful day for a wedding. Guests had come in from all over the country...and Canada.
I love weddings, I love Jason and Guy very much. They are my adopted brothers and friends.
I would love to be there again, when they exchange their vows legally...it'll soon be the fifth anniversary of their wedding, many more they have been together.
They are still young, very.
I hope they are young still, when legal marriage is theirs...and for so many others all over this land.