Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Just an Open Letter

As a City Councilor in Chelsea I would receive letters from people every so often and still do on occasion even after leaving the council this past winter. They have been tapering off and I have not received any for a month but I just got one last one from a gentleman from Canada. It was several pages long, he claims to have sent letters to many elected officials over the years and was decidedly anti-gay marriage (I am curious if anyone else out there got this letter.) I decided to write him back and post my response on my blog. He signed his letter "Just a man named John".

Dear "Just a man named John",

I received your letter in regards to gay marriage in Massachusetts, the United States and beyond. While you are entitled to your views I believe you are wrong and your rationale is irrational. I disagree with your assessment that gay marriage in Massachusetts is a blight on the Common Wealth, in fact I believe it to be a beacon of hope.

Gay marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for a while now and we have yet to be destroyed by any divine being. In fact the countries and states you mentioned in your letter as being pro gay marriage tend to have higher GDPs and better quality of life then those countries that are most anti-gay marriage. I have many gay and straight male friends and not one has married a friend just to get the benefits of marriage, has it not occurred to you that a straight guy and a straight girl could marry each other just to receive the benefits of marriage? Even with the acceptance of gay marriage most straight men would still be unwilling to pretend to marry a male friend just to save money on his taxes.

Your segway about halfway through the letter to focus on immigration and dissolution of American culture was interesting and I do give you credit for being able to weave that argument into your anti-gay marriage argument. You seem very concerned that God will not be on our side in future conflicts due to our views on gay marriage but I am not sure if God chooses sides to begin with. Throughout human history both sides of every conflict have believed God was on their side, which obviously is not possible. I myself believe that any reasonable God would love all people regardless of sexual orientation, I know you disagree with this assessment but I also know you are incapable of coming up with a reasonable reason as to why God would be against homosexual behavior.

I also would be remiss if I failed to address the following quote:

"The responsibilities associated with your position mean that you are not 20, but at an age where a level of life experience, and therefore wisdom, is with you."
For the sake of brevity I would like to point out that you continued on this tract and implied that young people (under 40) are not capable of seeing the big picture and that older citizens need to reign them in. I hate to be the one to break it to you but I am in fact 28 years old. I first got involved in politics at 17 and have since served on numerous boards and commissions culminating in being elected to my position and subsequently "retired" at the age of 28. I am amused by your statement because I know many elected officials under the age of 40 both at the local and state level. People around here seem to trust us, it is sad to hear that you do not.

The human spirit yearns to be free, you can not hold it back. As you may be aware yourself gay marriage legalization has faced set backs in many other states but this is a road block rather then a full stop. Freedom , once unleashed will spread, especially in a Democratic society. You wrote that younger people are missing the experience to know right from wrong but maybe it is you that is incapable of empathizing with other people. You told me to sit in a quiet place and read the letter with an open mind, I ask you to do the same thing.

To freedom from tyranny,

Matt Frank