A Gay Dad’s Thank You to Justice Kennedy for Hearing My Kids’ Voices


The Watson Boys in Red on the Marriage Equality Before the Supreme Court Day

A few months ago, I wrote a blog piece in anticipation of the Supreme Court review of marriage equality and the Prop 8 and DOMA cases.  In that piece, an open letter to Justice Anthony Kennedy, I invited the jurist to dinner so that he could meet my family.  While thousands of people read the article, I have no information to indicate that he did.

He apparently heard me however, and families like mine.  He made this statement during the discussions about Prop 8:   “What about the roughly 40,000 children of gay and lesbian couples living in California? They want their parents to have full recognition and full status.  The voice of those children is important in this case, don’t you think?” 

Thank you, Justice Kennedy.  Those voices are important.  Two of the forty thousand California children voices in LGBT households belong to my sons.

I cannot say that either of my ten year olds are equipped to air their voices in front of the Supreme Court.  They would be pretty succinct about the principles of equal rights in regard to marriage equality and family protections.  Jesse, in his own voice, would furl his brow and say “It’ NOT fair!”

The fact is, like the information about the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, certain concepts have been undisclosed to them up until now.  They do not know that my partner Jim and I cannot get married.  They do not know that their friends’ families are better protected and societally accepted than ours.

In the view of my sons, we are fully equal and their expectation is that we should be.   Apart from a few comments about moms, our family has received full respect from all our associates.  At this point, I am not going to correct their perception. I am hoping the Supreme Court rectifies the situation before such a conversation is necessary.  Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny…those are other stories.

Here are the things that have been voiced by my sons in the last week that, to me, characterize the nature of our family and what they expect from the world around them:

Jesse:  Dad, if you and Jim get married.  Can I be your ring bearer? 

Me:  No, Pal.   

JesseWhat?!  Why not??  

Me:  Because when Jim and I get married, you and Jason are going to be my Best Men. 

Jesse:  Really?  Cool.  What about Jim?  What if he wants one of us to be his Best Man?  

Me:  Mmmmmm   good point.  

JesseJason can do it.  I’ll be yours.   

Jason was working with his speech therapist who helps him deal with language issues that stem from his drug exposure in the womb.  She was teaching him adjectives and how to apply them.

Therapist:   Give me an adjective that would describe your brother.  

Jason:  “Fun”  

TherapistGive me an adjective that would describe me.   

Jason:  Smart”  

Therapist:  Give me an adjective that would describe your dad   

Jason:  “Loving”

And another was a conversation that I overheard from my bedroom between my sons in the next room.  The first things they said were inaudible but then I could hear this clearly:                                                                                                                                                   Jesse:  Jason, come on, I have it all planned.  I really want to do it.     

Jason:  I don’t get it though.  It’s not his birthday.      

Jesse It’s EASTER.  And they do things for us all the time…I want to do this for them     

Jason:  Oh… ok  (Jesse has now realized their voices have gotten too loud.)  

Jesse:  Dad?  Can you hear what we are saying?  

Me:  (from the bedroom)   NO, Pal!   I can’t hear a thing…!     

Jesse:  GOOD!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

That is what the “voice “ of my sons sounds like.  It is a voice that expects a family of love, respect and mutual support and generosity.  It expects a world around us that allows us to live in harmony with all other families.

Justice Kennedy wants the states to make their own determination of marriage and family.  I want to remind him that there are children, just like mine, in all those other states as well.   And they too all have voices.

It is clear that he heard us.  The biggest question is, will he now listen?

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Follow us on Twitter @ JandJDad

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, Gay Christians, Living, Marriage equality, US Politics and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to A Gay Dad’s Thank You to Justice Kennedy for Hearing My Kids’ Voices

  1. Pingback: H προσεγγιση της τεκνοθεσιας μεσα απο την αποφαση του Supreme Court of USA | Zenon Gardens

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  4. Tom Tait says:

    I was so touched by your sons planning to do something for you for Easter! You are raising two very wonderful loving sons! I have a strong suspicion that they will grow up to be fine young men with good hearts and good souls! Good on you and my best to you and your family!

  5. In the world we live in it is great, and important to include the voice of the future (in this case children.). I am currently 14, and about seventy percent of my friends my age are in the experimental stage were they’re either gay or bisexual. I support them one-hundred percent. I lost my homosexual uncle to AIDS back in September. It was a very sad time for my family.
    In my personal opinion homosexual marriage and heterosexual marriage are equal. If homosexuals are not allowed to get married then heterosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to get married. In our constitution it says that men shall be treated equal, that includes marriage.

    • robw77 says:

      Thank you for your thoughts and insight, Cameron. You make me feel good about those to whom we are leaving the planet. I just hope we don’t mess it up too badly before we pass you the controls! Please keep sharing your thoughts– you are impressive.

  6. kzottarelli says:

    from the mouths of babes! love this, love you!

  7. Proud to call you and your wonderful family friends, Rob!

  8. Vickie Pruitt says:

    If only the adults in this world were this caring? You have obviously done a great job with these boys! Thanks for sharing

  9. children are the innocence of our society. There voice should be valued if not more than others, this will be the world they have to make there own life in one day, why shouldn’t they have a say in it? 🙂 this article was simply beautiful, thank you!

  10. sophist6 says:

    Those are the most important voices of all! Thank you for sharing with us! 🙂

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