An open letter regarding marriage equality
Dear Governor Kasich,
My name is Justin Bachman, and I am a concerned 17-year-old soon-to-be voter from Solon, Ohio. My whole life I have been different. I have Tourette Syndrome, a medical condition that causes me to have uncontrollable twitches, movements and vocal outbursts called tics. My tics have caused me a lot of adversity, but they are a part of who I am, and have given me an accepting and tolerant outlook on the world. Because I am so outwardly different in a way that I cannot control, I know what it feels like to be misrepresented, and to be ignored by the people you think are fighting to serve you. I am not writing to you today to ask for support for myself, or people with my condition. I am, however, writing to you in support of people who are different.
I am writing today in support of the LGBTQ community. At the time of my writing to you, same sex marriage is not recognized in any form in Ohio, and you have fought to keep it that way. Not only is it impossible for a same sex couple to get married in our state, but the economic, medical, and all other benefits that marriage provides to spouses are not granted to same sex couples that were legally married in another state.
I have chosen to write to you in an open letter format with the goal of raising awareness of the current standing of marriage equality in our state. I am not writing to shame you, or to criticize your opinion; although I do write with the intent to track shares, responses, comments and any other feedback I receive because of this letter, and hope to sit down with you to address the support and backlash around this important issue some time soon.
Now, I realize that this is an issue that many people have very strong emotional feelings about on both sides. I realize that numerous religions strictly forbid any marriage not between one man and one woman. I also realize that marriage has long been a tradition of one man and one woman for centuries; however, times are changing.
According to the 2010 census, there are 19,684 same sex couples in Ohio, translating to 4.3 per every 1000 homes; that is not a small population. These are people that you represent, and the voters are telling you how they feel. A September 2012 poll showed that 52% of Ohio voters believe in marriage equality. Listen to the people you represent. After the 2014 mid-term elections, 32 states have legalized gay marriage, putting Ohio in the minority.
I mentioned earlier that there are many passionate people on both sides of this important issue, so I have listed counter arguments below, and my criticism of said arguments.
In my research, I found two prominent counter arguments. They are listed below:
1. Same sex couples cannot conceive children.
I have two arguments against this statement. 1. Heterosexual couples are not required by law to have children, and many chose not to. By this logic, it would be illegal for a couple in which one member is infertile to marry, which is not against the law by any manner. 2. While same sex couples may not be able to have a child that they together conceived, lesbian couples often get sperm donated, and one person gives birth to their child, and gay couples also have the ability to adopt.
2. Homosexuality violates the traditional sense of marriage, and offends God.
While marriage traditionally has been between a man and a woman, this is because the major religions in America have outlined it to be that way. For centuries, dating back to a time much before the Pilgrims even landed on Plymouth Rock, governments have been trying to separate Church and State. If as a nation, we allow religious beliefs (Church) to sway our opinions on purely political issues (State), then we are no better as a people than those who walked the earth centuries ago.
In past elections, the issue of same sex marriage has made and broken candidates. My vote in the 2012 presidential election was with president Obama, not Governor Romney for one reason: his stance on gay marriage (although I was too young to vote at the time, my family all voted this way). I refuse to support a candidate who does not believe in equality for the people that he or she serves, and I know I am not the only one. Supporters of same sex marriage often base their political views on that one issue, and if you want to keep your job, you need to keep voters happy. I would like to remind you that you are the governor for ALL Ohioans, not just those whose beliefs align with yours. You could have the soundest plans for education, or a healthcare bill to fix every city in Ohio, but people tend not to listen to people who do not support giving them equal rights.
Governor Kasich, I am not asking you to change your views in any way. My opinion is no more correct than yours or anyone else’s in any way. That is because they are opinions, not fact. No one person has the miracle fix to our countries problems, and injustice will still happen, but I refuse to sit quietly while there is injustice and segregation happening in the state I call home. 32 states have legalized same sex marriage. Until Ohio joins those 32 states, I will not believe that we are a land of the free, because with freedom comes equality. One bill will not create global equality; I know that. The civil rights movement of the 60’s did not stop after the march on Washington, and the movement for equality will not subside anytime soon.
In closing, I want to stress that I am not writing to shame you, nor to make myself feel better. I am writing to make my voice heard. I am not gay, but I am concerned. I am a person who was born different, and those differences define me. I am a straight man, but I know what its like to feel silenced. That is why I am writing to you today. As a voter in the next election, I will cast my vote for what I believe, because I represent myself. My hope is that you vote for what we as a people believe in, because you represent us as well.
Justin Bachman: Concerned Citizen
To provide feedback, tweet me at @justinbachman3, or reach out on Facebook at Facebook.com/honorgooddeeds
For more info on Justin Bachman, go www.HonorGoodDeeds.com