A Gay Dad Invitation to a Supreme Court Justice: Come to Dinner With My Family

ImageSome of us are nervous to exhale.  Same Sex Marriage is before the Supreme Court.

Just like the election had the “swing state factor,” so does this.  Justice Anthony Kennedy. Justice Kennedy was nominated to the Supreme Court by Ronald Reagan but also has also been on the progressive side of two key LGBTQ cases,  Romer v. Evans, and Lawrence v. Texas.  Now, with the question of Same Sex Marriage before the Supremes, Kennedy, with the right decision, can eclipse the likes of Streisand, Madonna and Lady Gaga as the greatest gilded eagle for gay equality ever heard.

Propaganda-like written amicus briefs from the Anti-gay community seem to be papering the walls of the Court on a daily basis.  The Westboro Church, the Republicans of the House of Representatives, the Catholics…they all have one. Progressive briefs are due in March.

I am just a gay Dad.  We gay Dads tend not to file amicus briefs, we do, however, jot notes, make lists, write letters.   Sometimes we invite people to dinner.  I think that will tell him more than all the anti-gay briefs put together.

Dear Your Honor,

This is an invitation to dinner.

I thought that would be the best way for you to decide how to vote on whether my family deserves the equal protections that other people’s families enjoy.

If you come, you would meet my ten year old sons, who will likely impress you as being personable, articulate, polite and bright.  You might ask, as many we meet do, if they are twins.  The answer will be, “They are ‘almost twins’, their birthdays are four months apart.”   That will bring a “huh, come again?” look and I will explain how I adopted them from different drug addict birth mothers from foster care as babies.

Many of the briefs suggest that other families deserve legal protection over mine because of that fact (“Marriage is thus inextricably linked to the objective biological fact that opposite-sex couples, and only such couples, are capable of creating new life together,” says Dennis Hollinsworth.)—that they were created more spontaneously or accidentally rather than someone and going out to help children and save them from real danger  I would just ask you to meet my sons, look them in they eyes, see their smiles…before you decide if the “procreation advantage” briefs are correct.

You will also meet Jim.  He is the new man in my life.  We dated until we were serious before he met my sons, but now he has taken up running a lot of the day to day needs of my family and has been an incredible support.  The boys and he have already established a terrific bond.  You will be able to see by the way I look at him, and how my sons do, that we love him.  Deeply.

Jim had a property and financial life before he met me, as I did before meeting him.  You and I can chat how complicated blending all that would be, and what a terrific hardship to Jim or me would occur should either of us die.  Where opposite gender couples would have protections, we would not, and our attempted financial blend would fall apart, pensions would be lost, and enormous taxes imposed.  This is the scenario even if just state level marriage was approved.  If any of our biological next of kin interfere, then things are susceptible to go badly very fast.

Some have claimed to you that we are politically powerful.  Paul Clement claims, “Gays and lesbians are one of the most influential, best-connected, best-funded, and best-organized interest groups … than virtually any other group in American history.”

Around our dinner table we can discuss how it sure does not feel that way.  You will see pictures on the sideboard of dear friends of mine who passed away from AIDS, a disease that ran rampant for years because it was not politically defensible enough for the President, the one who appointed you,  at the time to say its name.  We can brainstorm on any health crisis in history to receive such lack of immediate action.  I don’t think we will come up with one.

We can also talk about my relationship with Jim, and how, before I met him, millions of strangers voted for me not to be able to marry him.  No one has yet brought it up between him and me, but you will see by looking at us, that someone probably will want to in the near future. We are happy and love each other that much.  Even if one of us was to propose however, that person would need to ask millions of people first.  Somehow that does not make us or my kids feel particularly “politically powerful”.

Men from the House of Representatives have asked you not to decide on the same sex marriage issue as “a matter of sound social and political policy while the American people are so actively engaged in working through this issue for themselves.”  As I look across at the man I love, I would ask you in fact to decide on it so we can work  on our lives and our feeling for ourselves.

We can chat about how you also started in California and wonder how you are liking your home in McLean Virginia.  I would tell you how I envy you.  You see, even if Jim and I WERE allowed to marry in California, we could not move to Virginia as you and your wife have done.  If we were to do so, all of our legal protections would fly out the window and our family arrangements into turmoil.   Even if we could marry in California, we would be under statewide house arrest essentially.    We do hope you are enjoying your time and freedom to move state to state and continue to be married.

We will probably then verify your taste in food and beverage, so we can make last minute changes if we need to in the serving of the meal.  It is interesting how deep instinctual tastes are in what we are drawn to eat, desire and that our systems can tolerate.  Those do not seem to be learned, but something we were born with.  Some have tried to tell you that being gay is just an act of chosen taste and behavior.  “What lower courts have understood to be a homosexual “orientation” is not a trait attributable from conception or birth. Rather, particularly as framed by Respondents here, it involves a species of conduct,” states the Catholic Church in their brief.”  You will see me furrow my brow, not just because every biologist I have read does state that orientation is biologically based as it is in most species of animals, but I will also mutter under my breath “Gee, I don’t recall scientists declaring the discovery of the gene that makes one Catholic.  Yet, they are crying that this decision impedes on their right to be one. If they have rights from their chosen religion, I should have rights from my innate nature.”

You may hear my comment and that will enhance our conversation as we serve the ham.  As I cut the boys’ meat, and try to convince Jesse that he DOES actually like it… he just forgot, I will mention that I am glad you did not turn out to be Kosher.  Some of our friends are, and serving ham to them would have been a faux pas.  It is a sin in their religious beliefs.  They do not seem to feel a need however, to make it a federal law that others must avoid it , nor will they think that because we eat it, that society will be coming to an end as they know it.

Over dessert, I just hope that you sit back and take us all in.  We are not perfect, but we are a family.  We love and plan and live just like any other family.  Jim and I do not want anything special, we just want what we have worked for our entire lives to go to the benefit of each other and our loved ones.  We do not consider ourselves better because of how we came together, but we also do not consider ourselves any worse.  You will see, my kids have been raised with standards, just like those in other families have, and manners, and they too have bedtimes that we hit like clockwork.

With that, we would get your things, and I would walk you out to your car.  I would look at you and say, “Thank you Justice Kennedy for coming.  We were honored to have you.  We know that the future of our family rests in your hand.  You have the power to make it devastatingly difficult.  You can make it confusing and convoluted. Or you can do the right thing.  Please, Justice Kennedy, please, please do the right thing.

Be a Rock Star.

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About robw77

A single gay dad who cares. His story can be read here: http://www.imagaysingleparent.com/2013/02/02/rob/ and here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/31/rob-watson-gay-family_n_4689661.html
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Family, Living, Marriage equality, Mixing religion and politics, News, Politics, Prejudice, Religion, US Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to A Gay Dad Invitation to a Supreme Court Justice: Come to Dinner With My Family

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  9. Kat S. says:

    Excellent! I’m going to share this and the Justice can come to my house for dinner too and meet our twins and my wife of two days…we’ve been together for 15 years but were only JUST able to legally marry in the state of MD.

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  12. NPantz says:

    OMG. One of the most powerful letters I’ve read. Brilliant!

  13. kzottarelli says:

    awesomeness as always Rob! I will never understand ANY reasoning that says basically ….you need our permission to marry and legally be a family. My hope is that this Judge will also see the absurdity in that, as he never needed permission.
    Great writing! Without even being at your dinner I could see the love you all have, your words have expressed that beautifully!

  14. apeene says:

    Rob, I just had a chance to finally read this! Outstanding, my man! I sure hope you ARE going to send this to Justice Kennedy!!!

  15. Simply fantastic. I, for one, will be sharing the hell out of this for a long time to come.

  16. These Antigay’s phoney remaining “slippery slope strategy” that Antigays keep trying to insist is real, is 100% nonsense, and useless as a rational basis for valid lawmaking in America under The U. S. Constitution, yet we hear it time and again, ad nauseum (for real):

    Gutted Herring #1- ON ANIMALS MARRYING PEOPLE:

    Marriage requires informed consent which animals, mute inanimate objects, and children do not legally possess. So no marriage.

    The antigays who rely on this comparison would be hard pressed to make the direct comparison they are peddling as valid, since not one of them can look at a gay married couple, and tell us which of the 2 in the couple represents “the human” and which of the 2 in the couple represents “the animal/child/tree.

    …And once you’ve figured out which is which, please try undertaking this same comparison under oath in a court of federal law!

    (we’ll see if you don’t get sanctioned for contempt.)


    The only government purpose of recognizing marriages, is to officially consolidate 2 unrelated law-abiding households into a single family unit.

    Oh, but look again to see why this red-herring was dried up and gray before it even got out of its antigay agenda box!:

    Siblings are **already** considered ‘family’ from the day they were born; therefore any further recognition of their family status is purely redundant, and specifically not required, as these folks are born with the classification of being “recognized family members”.

    Which is precisely why no one is seeing additional sibling marriage rights talked about by anyone but inhumane antigays with a bizarre grudge they have yet to explain to anyone coherently.


    Straight polygamist may already marry the law-abiding oppsex partner of their choice, albeit one at a time. Divorce law nevertheless, still allows each of them to divorce, and then marry the next oppsex partner from their list of oppsex choices, and do it again and again, as often as they please, with nary a peep out of any “marriage protectors” (rolled eyes) or any family law regulations trying to stop them.

    Fact of the matter: polygamists aren’t complaining much, because they already have equal marriage rights. They know it. Everyone knows it.

    Ironically, a straight spouse-abusers may marry a 4th time, even if they are doing time for mortally injuring a 1st, 2nd or 3rd wife/husband, so long as both partners are straight. (note: the notoriously patricidal Melendez brothers as well as the LA Nightstalker, all “married” their oppsex partners WHILE IN JAIL FOR MURDER!!!)

    In stark contrast, Antigays say LGBT couple never should be able to marry.

    To “Protect the sanctity of marriage”.

    All of the above red-herrings are example of pure animus based, antigay incoherence; every red-herring they ever thought they had, are but fishbone and bacteria anymore, and every attempt to invoke them to deny gays equal rights, using family law as an excuse, is an illegal and automatic **fail***

    Justice and Equality for All.

    So simple. No herrings required.

  17. And it was a marriage equality state Team that won the SuperBowl. San Francisco, for all her awesomeness, has idiotically sexually elitist players who believe and say idiotic things, and the scourge of Flop 8 still illegally in place.

    Maybe next year for the 49ers…But if we – as a country -want to do well in the 1216 Olympics…?

    Better get rid of those illegal “laws” that *magically* harm Gays and only Gays, while leaving all others 100% unmolested, “law” or no “law”; otherwise, God won’t like American sports figures ever again.

    Equality and Justice for all is a winner…

  18. TKnTexas says:

    Oh my goodness. The gay agenda laid out for all to see. So beautifully worded. *dabs* a tear.

    • *true*. I’m 50+, gay, black and my head is spinning…in a good way, anyway.

      Then, I read THIS masterpiece of simple and reason, from a family that truly does understand “love, no matter what”~

  19. Pax says:

    So often your writing chokes me up but today I have to say you out did yourself with….“Gee, I don’t recall scientists declaring the discovery of the gene that makes one Catholic.” You are an amazing writer.

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