Wednesday, October 10, 2007

SSM OK by Dear Abby

Just Married, Just Married…
You have no complaint
You are what your are and you ain’t what you ain’t
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood
—John Prine

I believe if two people want to commit to each other, God bless 'em.
—Dear Abby

I know it's the daughter of the original Dear Abby, but my grandmother lived by the advice column. I have to wonder how it would be for her to hear Jeanne Phillips approve of same-sex marriage.

In an interview with Yahoo News, she added, "That is the highest form of commitment, for heaven's sake." Later, she noted, "If gay Americans are not allowed to get married and have all the benefits that American citizens are entitled to by the Bill of Rights, they should get one hell of a tax break."

PFLAG just honored her as its first recipient of its Straight for Equality award. Their director, Jody Huckaby, noted "She is such a mainstream voice. If Dear Abby is talking about it, it gives other people permission to talk about it."

Phillips co-wrote the column for 20 years and has been the sole writer for the past five after her month's Alzheimer's forced the transition. Her mother, Pauline, referred a letter writer to PFLAG 23 years ago.

The column has millions of readers and a societal impact. While not at all lewd, Abby deals with many relationship and sexuality issues. As examples:
  • She strongly believes that sexual orientation is innate and not a choice or lifestyle.
  • She has urged parents to deal with their own prejudice when they fear their kid may be gay.
  • She points to the countries that have legalized SSM, adding " day, perhaps, our country will, too."

The interview includes:

Right now, Abby, as Phillips prefers to be called, is working on a reply to a woman who wanted to know whether she should include childhood photographs of her transgender brother-in-law in a family album. The woman is worried what she will tell her children when they see pictures of their uncle as a little girl.

Phillips' guidance to Worried Reader will be simple, she said: Include the photos, of course. Silence is the enemy. Answer any questions the kids have honestly — Uncle John was born with a body of the wrong sex, so even when he was called Jane he was really John inside.

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