COMMENTARY | We can talk in abstract terms about the genuine cruelty in the Republican party platform. We can discuss, in hypothetical terms, a 15-year-old girl, raped by her uncle, forced to carry his fetus to term, as would happen if the party got its way with a “personhood” amendment to the Constitution. We could imagine the woman, raped, forced to continue the pregnancy with strangers happily placing their hands on her belly and asking about her due date.
And we can imagine a committed couple, one of whom served his country in Vietnam, told that their relationship does not deserve recognition, and does not deserve the same benefits and protection under the law.
Only there’s video for that last one.
Mitt Romney, on a campaign stop, sat down and joined two men who were eating breakfast, according to Upworthy. Sitting next to one man, the GOP candidate asked him when he served, and they exchanged chitchat. Romney discovered they were about the same age, though the veteran’s weathered face bore far more miles.
And so the veteran asked Romney about his stance on same-sex marriage. Romney affirmed he would try to repeal New Hampshire’s law that recognizes same-sex marriage.
Our veteran was not pleased.
In fact, one could say our veteran was irate. Romney made a quick exit, and the ring of reporters, furiously scribbling on notepads and holding up voice recorders, descended. They whether the veteran would vote for Mitt Romney. He told them, emphatically, he would not. Why?
“I’m gay,” he told them over the flashbulbs and racing pens.
So there it is. Same-sex marriage isn’t some abstract concept, some treat you shake your head and say, gee, sorry, kiddos, we’d sure like to give you these lollipops, but we just can’t do it.
Same-sex marriage involves basic equal protection under the law, and it is unfathomable that we’d be willing to deny that right to someone who risked his life for our country while Mitt Romney was off in France. It is unbelievable that an entire party would build its platform not on the securing of rights, but on the codification of making sure they’re permanently out of reach.
This ideology is not abstract. The planks in the Republican platform can shape — and in many cases ruin — people’s lives. That veteran cannot be certain that, should something happen to him, his husband can visit him in the hospital. That veteran cannot be certain that the benefits he earned while putting his life at risk in service to this nation will go to the man he loves, the man to whom he’s dedicated his life.
I hope that we, as a nation, are better than the Republican platform. I hope that we are not so punitive, so happy to see our fellow citizens suffer under the oppression of so-called “morality.”
And there’s only one way to make it so: Vote.