American Samizdat

Thursday, March 15, 2007. *
Trevor Blake Letter to Garrison Keiler
[The following in reply to Garrison Keiler's essay Stating the Obvious at]

I was disappointed and saddened by your piece in Salon magazine. I think that you were trying to emphasize that parenthood is about children and not parents, but for no good reason along the way you took a jab at same-sex parents.

It's a stone cold fact that some ethnic groups have higher divorce rates than others, higher rates of children out of wedlock, higher incidences of multi-generation stints in prison, but would you feel comfortable taking a jab at them? How about the difference between atheist parents and Christian parents - guess which one has a lower divorce rate?

It's nobody's business how many times you've been married and whether or not you've had a monogamous relationship during those times. Just as it is perhaps not up to you to look down on people who are not allowed to get married.

I have a friend who married during the brief moment when Oregon recognized same-sex marriage. After her marriage was declared null and void, her wife got in a motorcycle accident. All of a sudden her wife wasn't covered in her insurance, and the medical bills that came to them were staggering. [It wasn't at all a sure thing that she could visit her wife in the hospital - that's reserved for 'family,' you see.] They moved across the country to a state that recognizes their marriage.

The friend I'm talking about above was my boss at a homeless shelter I worked at. Every day I'd see teenagers whose main problem in the world was a lack of parents that would love them. Right now there are thousands of loving, stable same-sex couples that would adopt such children in a heartbeat but are forbidden by law from doing so. Now's the time to speak in their favor, not put them down.

Everybody deserves a chance to be made fun of, and that includes gay people, atheists, ethnic groups, people in Minnesota, etc. But there's a difference between a gentle elbow in the ribs of an equal sitting next to you and kicking someone when they're down.

I've been listening to you off and on since perhaps 1980, and I will continue to do so. I hope you'll take some time to re-consider what you wrote in Salon and write something more soon.
posted by Trevor Blake at 8:41 AM
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