Monday, August 02, 2010

"Group Works to Change Minds on Gay Marriage"

That's what the article was titled in last Tuesday's Oregonian, a small piece about the three-week advertising campaign by Basic Rights Oregon to explain why lesbian and gay couples want to marry. Apparently BRO is running 30-second ads costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, and mailing 50,000 brochures to households to explain why same-sex couples want the right to marry legally.

Which begs so many questions: why does anyone need to know why we want to marry? Are heterosexual couples asked to justify their desire to wed? Why would anyone assume there were wildly different answers since we are, after all, the same species, raised in the same culture as the straight people around us? Why is it so hard to understand what Depeche Mode sang about two decades ago-- "people are people"?

Okay, so I have spent a lot of effort trying to explain why same-sex couples want to marry, or have the choice to marry. In fact, I spent three years writing a book about it. I hear it has changed minds. I hear it's been called "a same-sex marriage memoir you can bring home to mother." I know it has made people laugh, cry and get angry.

So if you want to influence your friends, neighbors, relatives, co-workers, the book might be a way to reach them. There are twelve copies in the Multnomah County Library system, plenty to check out. Or you can buy it here, and have it arrive in your mailbox. There are sometimes used copies at Powells. It's about family, love, and being human. Not such a foreign concept.

What Basic Rights Oregon knows is that once you put a face to gay people, we are harder to see as other, as different, as less worthy of marriage or legal equality. The faces I supply are with words. To find out more, you can go to Since it seems our worthiness as human beings is under question, here is more evidence that we are only, and absolutely, human.   

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