Real Winners Of Marriage Equality? Kids

As discrimination falls state by state across our great nation, we don't hear enough about children and the impacts of the fight on the most precious among us. It's important that we keep them steadfastly in our minds.
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A 19-month-old child plays at my feet right now. I'm typing on my keyboard as she pulls on my left foot saying the word "toe" over and over. She's learning to speak.

My home today is much like many homes in the United States of America. Here, we are a family just like any other.

We've lived through triumph and tragedy, my little family.

Seven years ago we lost a child to a horrible back yard swing set accident.

That child's name is Wesley -- and when he died in his mother's back yard, I didn't know if I would live through the grief.

But I did survive -- because of my partner Gregory... and the memory of that little boy who first called me daddy.

The people who populate my home, are why (fighting pneumonia) I lined up at 4:45 AM in St. George Utah to marry Gregory in our home state.

I made sure we were first in line... not only for ourselves as a couple, but for our children.

Our children -- and the thousands of other children whose lives were negatively affected by those who paid for and promoted the shameful ballot measures we knew as 8 in California and Amendment 3 in our home state of Utah.

As discrimination falls state by state across our great nation, we don't hear enough about children and the impacts of the fight on the most precious among us.

It's important as we celebrate and look to the next steps in our fight for full marriage equality that we keep steadfastly in our minds -- the children who now or in the future will populate our lives and our homes.

It is because of my work to help children -- whether they be my own or those who attend the schools in Kenya I've helped build for AIDS orphans -- that I was overjoyed in reading Judge Walker's findings on same-sex parents.

"The sexual orientation of an individual does not determine whether that individual can be a good parent. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents are as likely as children raised by heterosexual parents to be healthy, successful and well-adjusted."

Judge Walker's California ruling, like the ruling by Utah's Judge Shelby, was not only an affirmation of the validity of my own family, but it was also an endorsement of the most important job I'll ever have. To be a daddy.

When you compare the hundreds of thousands of children in the United States who live in foster care to the precious few of us in the LGBT community who are able to adopt -- it is shameful to count the opposition who work to bar people like myself and Gregory from giving these children loving and abundant homes.

It pisses me off.

I've often said of those who work against my family that until they themselves are willing to give one of these thousands of children a home through adoption, they should shut up about my family.

But they wont.

Especially stubborn are certain leaders in my own church.

Already the Mormon-owned Deseret News in Salt Lake City has published an opinion piece with a vow to fight on against marriage equality, saying: "Utah's Amendment 3 may provide precisely the robust legal case that will, in the end, preserve to the states their right to define marriage to be exclusively between and man and a woman."

Translation: Utah and Utah's dominant culture are not done fighting marriage equality.

Insiders have already told me this morning, that leaders in Utah's appeals process have called on out of state experts, scholars and activists of similar thought and religious persuasion with the goal of waging a "money no expense" war against what has transpired.

No doubt, Utah will take its case against my family and thousands of other families like mine all the way to the US Supreme Court to strip rights away from not only myself and Gregory...but our children.

Yes. Our children.

Proposition 8, Utah's Amendment 3 and measures like them in other states not only strip away the rights of myself and Gregory -- they strip away the rights that my children would enjoy if bigotry didn't flourish in a field of green 501c3 cash.

In Utah, California and many other states, the LGBT battle is winning. But the fight is far from over.

As we march forward to face what is likely to be a well-funded appeals process, it's my hope that advocates of marraige equality will put a little fire in each footstep for kids.

Kids like my kids... who deserve to be raised in homes that will one day be the benefactors of full marriage equality for all.

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