Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gay Marriage in Washington

I avoid expressing opinions on this blog; I like to stick to Actual Math. For this issue, I’m going to make an exception. In two weeks Washington (along with Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota) has the chance to be the first U.S. state to affirm the right of everyone to marry with a popular vote. Let’s do it. Let’s stand up and proclaim that everyone is equal under the law. Everyone.

As a poker player, I spent many hours working at the table trying to understand how my opponent’s minds were working. The better you understand why someone plays poker, how they think about poker,  and what they think about you, the better you’ll be able to deduce what their hand is. In the poker world we call that second-level thinking. I've spent a long time improving my second level thinking (all successful poker players have) and as a consequence when people disagree with me I can usually understand what their thought process is.

Outside of religious dogmatism and just being mean, I don’t understand the opposition to gay marriage. I don’t. I don't understand the exclusionism. I don't understand the demagoguery. I don’t understand how anyone could object to two people wanting to stand up and declare their love, declare that they’re partners, declare that they’re building a life together, and then be treated equally under the law.

Anecdotally, I see the majority of objections to gay marriage coming from religious people (specifically Christians), and I don’t understand that either. I’m not religious, I don’t know much about it, and I welcome corrections if I’m off base. But my basic understanding of Jesus’s teachings boils down to: Be kind to people, don’t judge them, and treat them how you want to be treated. I don’t understand how denying anyone a basic right is consistent with that.

I feel more emotionally invested in the outcome of this vote than in any other ever. It will actually affect the lives of my friends who are gay, who just want the same thing from love that we all do: to find someone special.  It’s a chance for Washington to be the first state to say, with a  popular vote, that we stand for civil rights, for equality, and for kindness.

I have a wife. She’s beautiful and smart and is home raising our daughter. My life is so much better with her in it (I hope she would say the same). She helps me and I help her. She supports me and I support her. What’s mine is hers and what’s hers is mine. We're connected to each other, we have a life together, we’re partners. Everyone should get to have that connection, that support, that love.

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