Rick Moody
Rick Moody is the author of five novels, three collections of stories, a memoir, and, most recently, a collection of essays, On Celestial Music. He also performs as a member of The Wingdale Community Singers. He writes the "Swinging Modern Sounds" column for The Rumpus.

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REASON 18: Mitt Romney Opposes Marriage Equality.

My cousin, who not long ago retired from a career in the Episcopalian ministry, is gay, is out, has been out for a long time. For some thirty-five years, he was also, until 2005 or so, in a relationship with a really excellent, hard-working, brilliant, hilarious sound engineer, who I’ll call Donnie (for the sake of privacy). Donnie left for work one morning, on his bicycle, and was struck and killed on a certain major thoroughfare in New York City. This would have been tragedy enough on good day, but when you are (as was the case at the time of the accident) unable to marry the person you love, then the tragedy is of a completely different cast. My cousin went through a whole host of indignities surrounding his ability to see to his lover’s body, to inherit, and so on, all because, at the time, New York State had not yet addressed the issue of marriage between gay persons.

Marriage equality is not just equal treatment in the eyes of the law, it’s also a moral and philosophical imperative. The prejudicial treatment of gay persons is like unto the segregation and prejudice that racial minorities have experienced in this country, and it’s completely wrong, and in a generation it will be hard to believe, when looking back, that we routinely accepted this prejudice. As such, marriage equality needs to be addressed at the federal level. While I agree that Barack Obama has been slow to address this issue (for political reasons), he has now seen which way the wind is blowing and has modified his position. There is a good chance that at some point in the next four years we will see movement on the positive side of the marriage equality front.

There are not ninety, but nine hundred and ninety reasons not to vote for Mitt Romney, and here is one: Mitt Romney believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. I don’t understand what this means at all, this idea, but it is what Mitt Romney alleges to believe today. Barack Obama has spoken directly to the issue of marriage equality recently, and so we can count on him to stand by equal rights for gay people in the United States. And, of course, this problem doesn’t end with the marriage issue. It has to do with the complete integration of gay people into the political and legal mainstream of our culture. It has to do with equal treatment before the law for LGBT people in all areas of American life. Mitt Romney exhibits a routine ignorance of this issue, with no rationale for his position that any thinking, feeling person could entertain. On such a basis, the only sound position is to vote for Barack Obama.

Rick Moody
  Brooklyn, New York

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