Recently, I read an editorial by Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association in Indiana. I am writing this article not only in response to his but as a resume to all Hoosiers on why I am qualified for marriage. Clark made an argument that preventing gay people from attaining marriage is similar to preventing blind, 14-year-old or intoxicated citizens from driving. As unrelated and disturbing as it is to make that analogy, Clark was making the argument that gay people do not meet the standards for the role of marriage. It is better to keep a small group of people off the road so they do not injure the rest of us, either because of immaturity, physical inability or lacking responsibility to perform the tasks correctly.
I could cite research on children growing up in gay households, present statistics and quote court cases. I could outline some analogies, slippery slopes, build a straw man and quote one person from the fringe of Clark’s ideology. I will not do that. I believe this issue transcends the typical “two sides-you decide” argument that is so often presented as the norm in modern debate. Arguing this issue in that format seems to me as trivial and reprehensible as having to present research on why two people with different colored skin should be allowed to marry.
What I will argue are my credentials and why I am qualified for marriage.
During the summer as a child, I often cried when the sun set because I did not want to leave the cul de sac game of kickball. In second grade, I struggled with the cursive letter Z and became very frustrated writing about my trip to the zoo. When I was 11, my father coached my Little League team and I hit a grand slam while the entire crowd cheered my name. I graduated from high school in the top 10 percent of my class, and, not admitting it to my classmates, I sometimes took my history book home to read further into the Gadsden Purchase of 1854.
When I had to attend my sister’s musical, I sat patiently hoping there would be no encore. When Kerri Strug landed her vault at the 1996 Olympics, I chanted USA. When Tina Fey played Sarah Palin, I laughed. When my mother makes a favorite meal, I salivate. When a girl runs to the doors at work to escape the rain, I hold it open, and when my father lost his battle to cancer, I wept.
To all Hoosiers who may be reading this and deciding if I can have the job, I have only one qualification for you: Thaddeus Gerardot, human being. I may be imperfect, stubborn, emotional and anxious, but I am also responsible, dedicated, caring and trustworthy. I have experienced the same qualities of life as you and expressed the same emotions.
Do you think then that I do not feel the same love as you do because the object of that desire has a Y chromosome? The feeling of loving someone unconditionally is not exclusive to heterosexuals, it is part of the human experience and is something we should cherish and applaud.