Baltimore Sun

Nation’s ready to do the right thing, but Senate’s in the way

- — Mark and Sheldon Gruber-Lebowitz, Timonium

As seems to be a sadly predictabl­e pattern in these Joe Biden years, the U.S. House of Representa­tives once again has stepped up to do the right, honorable thing — with it all but certain that honor will face an uphill battle, and likely trouncing, when it comes up against the current U.S. Senate for a final vote there (“Pressure on Senate GOP after same-sex marriage passes House,” July 26).

Recently, the U.S. House of Representa­tives passed a bill to protect same-sex marriage rights. Under this bill, federal protection is guaranteed for same-sex marriage, and denial of a marriage’s validity based upon a couple’s gender or race is prohibited. The bill passed by a 267-157 margin including 47 affirmativ­e Republican votes.

Thank you and kudos to the men and women who voted in support of equality and justice!

Wouldn’t it be great if the story could end right there, with federal protection solidly in place for the legality of same-sex unions that was made the law of the land by the landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges? But no, even as we celebrate the good work that was accomplish­ed this week in the House, we — like millions of married LGBTQIA Americans — await this bill’s move to the Senate floor with well-founded anxiety.

A group of far-right Republican­s, determined to foil any and all remotely progressiv­e movement within the U.S. Senate, will do all in their power to block this protective measure from passing.

Many will couch their homophobia in profession­s of deeply rooted religious conviction, to the delight of the legions of arch-conservati­ve American citizens who bemoan the legalizati­on of same-sex marriage as an evil act of end-times magnitude.

We are a married gay couple who recently celebrated 33 years together as a committed couple, and this coming December we will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversar­y — two milestones that mean the world to us. Like many couples, gay and straight alike, we met in the workplace, fell in love and formed a life together.

And, like other gay and straight couples, our lifetime together has included such joys as shared faith expression, homeowners­hip, the raising of treasured pets and the growing of rich friendship­s.

And, like any longtime married couple, we have known our share of life’s challenges — financial, profession­al and relational in nature; we have comforted each other through the illness and death of parents; we have agreed, disagreed and agreed to disagree around issues great and small in stature; and, sadly, we have stood together on numerous occasions as recipients of public belittling and derision in response to our very existence as a couple.

Through it all, it was love that brought and held us together; and it is still that same abiding love that defines us today.

Now in our 60s, we often marvel as we look back upon the years and experience­s that have comprised this life we are blessed to share as lovers, companions, faith siblings and, always and forever, the very best of friends.

As legally recognized spouses, we are afforded the dignity of shared health care benefits, decision-making privileges in life-or-death situations, and other rights and recognitio­ns that accompany the blessing of our marriage certificat­e.

We are grateful beyond words to God for bringing us together and uniting us in love in 1989, and to the Supreme Court of 2015 that declared our marriage fully legal throughout the United States.

It is our fervent hope and prayer that, against frightenin­g odds, marriages and loves like ours will remain protected from those whose misguided bigotry threatens to invalidate them with the casting of one hate-fueled vote.

 ?? JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP ?? A person waves a rainbow flag as they participan­t in a rally in support of the LGBTQIA+ community at Freedom Plaza in Washington on June 12.
JOSE LUIS MAGANA/AP A person waves a rainbow flag as they participan­t in a rally in support of the LGBTQIA+ community at Freedom Plaza in Washington on June 12.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States