Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Family Coming Out

One Massachusetts same-sex marriage that was good for all involved appears in Our family's values by Anne and Chad Gifford. The op-ed column appeared in the Boston Globe on May 17th.

One of their four kids is a gay man, who married his partner a year ago. The family is better off than most (dad is chairman emeritus of the Bank of America), but had the same hopes and expectations of most for their children.

The parents fess up that it took them some years to come to terms with their son's homosexuality. Now though a year after his marriage, they write:
Gay marriage conjures strong feelings on all sides. For many, religious beliefs simply prevent the acceptance that two individuals of the same sex should be legally married. We understand that change can be threatening, and in fact, we must respect differing opinions. However, we believe that same-sex or equal marriage is a right that must be supported and preserved. Why is this simple human desire, this simple human right, so difficult to accept?

Our initial period of concern and confusion and the subsequent learning has, at times, been tumultuous. But how could we as parents not do all we could to embrace our child? How could we not do all we could to strengthen our family? Many object to equal marriage because it represents an attack on family. This is tragic and wrong. Family means love and support for all, not the marginalization of one member of the family.
That certainly takes it out of the realm of self-rightenousness and disdain.

They note that when their son came out to them in 1993, they found their stereotypical hopes dashed. Yet a dozen years later they say those hopes have been fully realized. They conclude, "What more could we have wished for than to have our son find happiness and share his life with someone he loves?"

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