You know - life is hard and getting harder for a lot of people in this country. I'm lucky. My life is pretty good and, while I don't have or make a lot of money, I feel like a rich man. I have a great family, wonderful friends, good health, and time to do the things I like to do. There are a lot of wealthy people in this country who can't say that.
But not everyone is equally blessed. I have a brother who lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Like me, he has a great family and wonderful friends. Unlike me, his health is not as good (he's been HIV positive for 22 years) and he doesn't have the time to do what he likes. He paints houses for a living to make ends meet. He also happens to be gay.
My brother's name is Andy. He's a great guy. I love him like a brother (ha! ha!). He likes to work in his yard (yes, it's immaculate). He's a big baseball and hockey fan. He likes to drink beer and sip an occasional scotch. He's more religious than I am. He's a pretty good cook, but no better than me. He has a great sense of humor and knows a lot of good jokes. He pays his taxes and looks out for his neighbors. Bill, his partner of fifteen years, is a great guy as well and I love him, too.
My brother is not a child molester. He doesn't "sleep around." He doesn't look, act, talk, or (yes, all you right-wingers will be surprised) walk like your stereotype of someone living "the gay lifestyle." In fact, my brother's "lifestyle" isn't much different from mine or from most of the people I know, except when it comes to what goes on in his bedroom in private. I don't like to think about that. But, then again, I don't like to think about what goes on in most of my neighbor's bedrooms at night. Most of them are in their forties and fifties. Thinking about it just doesn't conjure up very pretty images, so I'll choose to just like them, respect their privacy, and leave their private lives alone. The same goes for my brother.
I'm voting for Colorado Referendum i in November granting same sex couples basic rights because, even though my brother doesn't live in Colorado, there are many people like my brother who live here. I know a few of them. So do you. Come on - admit it. You may even have one in your own family. They are in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships with each other. But they don't have the same rights that my wife and I have. That's just not right. And this initiative will provide them with those rights.
For those of you on the political right, you need to know that I am a huge believer in marriage. In fact, if you want to circulate petitions that make it a felony for a husband or wife to cheat on their spouse, I would be happy to sign it. But don't take your hatred out on people who are different from you. Don't make their lives harder than it already is just because you don't understand them, they're not like you, or somebody tells you that they are somehow evil. They're not evil. They're just people. They're just the way God made them.