The “Personal” Election

The Next Family

By Tom Butts

It’s hard to explain, but the 2012 Election seems to have a high level of emotion in it.  My own included. I can’t remember when I’ve been so passionate and raw about a general election.  Maybe it’s because the election has really taken place over a two-year period.  Maybe it’s because in my state, Washington, every day residents are voting on my relationship. Yes, they are deciding whether I can call my marriage of 11 years a “marriage” or not.  It’s hard to look at that with any other attitude, as I find it so appalling that, in 2012, people can vote to take away my right to something that’s so deeply personal to me, my husband and my beliefs.

To top things off, we have a very important general election to consider.  One candidate believes that my marriage should be recognized throughout the country, one does not.  One openly talks and includes the GLBT in conversations to the nation, one does not.  The next President will more than likely choose two Supreme Court Justices.  This is a huge thing in a divided court.  This court will make decisions on very personal issues.  A woman’s right to do as she likes with her body.  Marriage Equality…etc.

Now, back to my point of emotion…

There are people that call me a “one issue” voter.  That may be correct.  In fact, I believe in a lot of the things that President Obama is trying to do.  I believe in healthcare reform, I believe in marriage equality, I believe we need all Americans to pay their fair share of taxes.

All of these are important.  That said, “marriage equality” is what really sticks with me personally.  I’ve found myself being a bit hurt by family members that are voting for Mitt Romney in 2012.  I respect their right to choose the candidate they feel best meets the needs of the country. That said, I can’t help but feel a bit sorry for myself.  I tried to explain it to my father.  I told him, what if Mitt Romney said (and the RNC platform stated) that anyone over the age of 70 should not be allowed to drive.  My father, being, 82, said “I could NOT support the candidate.” I said, there, you have it Dad, that’s my thought exactly with gay marriage.”  He said, “Tommy, that’s my livelihood they’d take away.” I said, “Dad, it’s my marriage they want to take away.”  I think it actually settled in.  Although, for the record, I am guessing his vote will still be cast to Mitt Romney.

It’s obvious which way I want this election to go, but I wish more of my friends and family that identify with “conservative values”would realize that gay marriage is extremely conservative.  I want to be responsible for my partner, I want to love him, be loved, learn, have challenges and be in a responsible, adult marriage.  IT’S THAT SIMPLE.

Now…writing this has gotten me emotional *smirk* so I’ll say…adieu.

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