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Scott and Frank in Baton Rouge, 2008
Scott, I have not had to work very hard in the past decade to separate our differing views from our close friendship. Somehow, because of the nature of our bond, this was never an issue. You have been loving and supportive of me throughout my life, without respect to the fact that I am gay and you’ve always known that. I consciously refrained from commenting to you on Catholic views of abortion and homosexuality because I knew your point of view, you knew mine, and I would never want to risk offending you. However, your recent and public campaign against marriage equality has crossed that line in our relationship. I can only imagine that you do not have a very close friend in your life who is gay – one with whom you interact on a deep and regular basis – and so you cannot see how you have hurt other people. I want to show you how you have.
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

You wrote,

In the name of diversity and equality, Christians are being written off as bigots.
That is because most of the leaders and many of the followers of the Christian marriage movement are bigots. They are entirely intolerant of the views of another group of people, to the extent that they feel it appropriate to use their private religious beliefs to create laws that apply to everyone. They are being written off as bigots because they are, Scott.

You wrote,

Laws help form a nation’s moral conscience, especially in a void.
Such moral conscience exists in the absence of religion. Without Christianity, there would still be right and wrong, there would still be people who could tell the difference, and there would still be a moral conscience to guide decisions and even laws. I do not need Christianity in order to be a moral person. In fact, I haven’t.

You wrote,

The restoration of the sacrament, the re-ordering, starts here.
No one has changed the sacrament of Catholic marriage. No one I know can. If your concerns are that the Catholic definition of marriage is changing, then you should take up that issue with the Church. If your concerns are that the legal definition of marriage is changing, then you must realize that you do not have the right to impose your religious code upon others. Your marriage to Ashton does not need restoring; no one has done anything to it.

You wrote,

I certainly acknowledge that it’s perceived as the Church hurting people, but this is a terrible misconception. I really do want the best for my gay friends – I really wish this was as simple as equality, but it’s not. I believe that this desire for marriage is a mortal distraction from the source of all joy…this desire for God and companionship through gay marriage is like the thirst for freshwater in a sea of saltwater.
Dad and me at my sister's wedding, 1996
It is not a perception. The Church is hurting people. You hurt people. You have wounded me deeply – irreparably, actually. You have hurt Michael; he has never met you, and yet he cannot imagine you being the wonderful person I once knew you to be. The Church is entitled to define marriage within its own walls – and there it ends. When you intrude your religion into my life, you are hurting me. Michael and I do not seek a “desire for God and companionship” by getting married. We want our family and friends to recognize our relationship, as your family is recognized, and we want our government to provide us with the same rights and benefits as you receive. Providing those benefits to me does not diminish you one bit. Therefore, I can only conclude that your motivation for this denial is animus. You don’t “want the best for” me when you oppose my right to a civil wedding – a wedding in which you were to serve as my Best Man, standing for me in place of my father.

You wrote,

Gay marriage is a rejection of at least one of the goods of marriage. It is not fruitful; therefore, the institution will not help the person.
My mother is 70. You presume that she should be similarly barred from marriage because such a senior marriage would be a “rejection of” one of the goods of marriage. My mother knows she cannot be fruitful, so you would bar her marriage. And the Church, which has historically handed out annulments like candy, should be the last party anyone listens to on the “goods of marriage.” Further, to state that a fruitless marriage is useless to its participants neglects the many other proven and established benefits of marriage.  The ability and intention to raise children has never been a requirement of civil marriage here, and it cannot be used now to deny the equal treatment of same-sex couples with regard to civil marriage.

You wrote,

The institution of marriage doesn’t lead a murderer into greater sin.
I am going to finish your sentence for you, since you weren’t brave enough to do so. “The institution of marriage leads a gay man into greater sin.” Your definition of sin belongs nowhere near my civil marriage. Feel free to think I am a sinner; by Christian definition I am. But I really don’t care about that definition. And I am offended at its continued intrusion into my private life.
Scott and Frank at Scott's wedding in 2011.
You wrote,
I think the most obvious argument against applying the equal protection clause is that all people…currently have an equal right to marry a member of the opposite sex.
This is about as relevant, fair, and equal as saying only Nickelback albums can be sold in stores – this is ok, because everyone has the same right to buy Nickelback albums.

You wrote,

Marriage, historically, is less about two people in love and more about the children.
This is false, and especially in the recent history of our nation. There are millions of childless marriages in this country. I can buy milk at the grocery store, but I don’t have to; the grocery store is not historically about buying milk.

You wrote,

The impossibility of two gay men conceiving and bearing children is a true impossibility.
In light of miraculous formerly-barren marriages, then why did you not mention a lesbian couple? It happens all the time that a member of a lesbian marriage conceives and bears children. If marriage is all about the children, then lesbians should be able to get married, but not gay men. Certainly this is acceptable under the Equal Protection Clause? Wait, I don’t want to make a legal argument.  I am talking ground-floor common sense. Certainly allowing only lesbians to marry in this context is fair and just, right?

You wrote,

Moasic Law had developed past viewing women as property just in time for Christ.
Yes, and women had almost full and equal treatment for about 2% of all the years since the time of Christ. This is not a valid argument.

You wrote,

As the justices pointed out, I’m not sure we have enough information to evaluate gay adoption.
You and Scalia are both wrong.  I could show you plenty of research – a consensus, if you will – that shows you that you are wrong. But it will not matter, because your religious views will not allow you to accept them. So let me leave you with one statement of fact: “The conclusions by the leading associations of experts in this area reflect a consensus that children raised by lesbian or gay parents do not differ in any important respects from those raised by heterosexual parents.” So says [PDF] the American Psychological Association, the California Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the National Association of Social Workers and its California chapter, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychoanalytic Association. There is plenty of information to evaluate gay adoption. It’s been done. You just have to open your eyes and read it.

You wrote,

We must honor the truths [the Bible] has revealed to us, or society will suffer.
If we must honor this truth you are picking from the Old Testament of Genesis, why are you ignoring the commands of Leviticus? I know nothing of the origins and history of the Bible, but I know about writing and arguments. You cannot claim an older part of the book to say that society will suffer while ignoring all its companion commandments. Are you wearing fabric made of two different materials?  Where do I sign up to help put every single adulterer to death? Has society suffered because the Church has not murdered every unclean woman?

You wrote,

The sacrament is null ab initio lacking consummation.
You’re right. And I don’t want sacramental marriage; I want a civil marriage. So keep your religion out of my bedroom. I don’t believe in your God. The law says I don’t have to. So quit inserting your God into my life.

You wrote,

I think if the courts are going to legitimately define marriage at all, it’s either one man and one woman or a free for all.
You left out a clear third choice – the courts and law define marriage for no one. Your friend Dargan is right – perhaps the law cannot compel every state to allow gay marriage. Perhaps the law cannot compel any state to allow any recognized marriage. But the law can say this to a state: “You don’t have to offer marriage to anyone. But if you do, you have to offer it to everyone.”  This is why, to the futile chagrin of many, the Affordable Care Act was written in a constitutional way. The law cannot mandate that employers offer health insurance to its workers. But the law can say, “You don’t have to offer health insurance. But if you choose to do so, you must follow these rules.” I think that is just as valid a statement as your previous one that equality is not at stake because everyone has the same right to opposite-sex marriage.
Michael and his father on the second anniversary of their kidney transplant, St. Patrick's Day 2013.
You wrote,
Any time a homosexual acts on his or her disordered desire – it’s considered a sin whenever anybody acts on any disordered desire.
I don’t care about the sin part because I don’t subscribe to your Christian notion of sin. But who are you to call me disordered? My desire to love Michael and support him informs nearly everything I do. One of your “homosexual acts” that makes me “disordered” could include working overtime at my job to help generate more income for our new business. It encompasses making a good dinner for Michael. It includes worrying about him when he goes in for his checkup after donating a kidney to save his father’s life. This is called love, Scott, not disordered desire.  How dare you?  

You wrote,

This fits Obama’s overall strategy so well, that devil.
and
This is why Obama attacks the Church.
You are an intelligent man who loses mounds of credibility by calling the president a devil. And you have no basis in reality to aver that the president attacks the Church. He has not and does not. Even so, anyone who has lived through the last half century in this country would be perfectly justified in attacking the Church. Is there anyone on the planet less qualified to lecture the world on morality than Joseph Ratzinger? I have held my tongue so long on the pervasive criminal Catholic conspiracy to hide, enable, and protect child rapists because I did not want to offend you, but that ends now. The Church, so infested with child rapists and with conspirators like Ratzinger who protected them and hid their crimes, has no moral standing to lecture the world on any issue of morality. The US Catholic bishops’ conference spends all their time and capital railing against gays, instead of leading the country according to the teaching of Jesus to love one another and help the needy and poor. Obama has not attacked the Church and will not. But if he ever wanted to, there is plenty of ammunition.
Me and Michael, January 2013.
I have gone on for almost 2000 words now, but here is the bottom line. Your position on this issue and your religious defense of it has wounded me very deeply. It means you cannot be the Best Man at my wedding. You cannot stand in place of my late father and support me on the most wonderful day of my life; that space next to me will stand empty as both a symbol of my father’s love and a reminder of your abandonment. You cannot even be there, because you believe I am disordered and unworthy of the joy, happiness, recognition, and security that you and Ashton share. And sadly, you cannot be in my life anymore, because you believe all of that as the way your God made me.  

Unless, of course, God made a mistake when he made me this way. God made a mistake when he brought me to Michael. God made a mistake when he moved us to fall in love. God made a mistake when he helped us realize we wish to commit our lives to one another forever. God chose to make Michael and me in this way, and then bring people like you into our lives to tell us that, even though God made all of this, God wants Michael and I to be unhappy. God wants Michael and I to suffer.  

I find it much more reasonable to believe – and more likely to be so – that none of that is true.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to TexasAMC on Sun Mar 31, 2013 at 09:16 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality, Milk Men And Women, LGBT Kos Community, RaceGender DiscrimiNATION, and Street Prophets .

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