My Address to Paul Torkelson, Minnesota State Representative

22 05 2011

To all of those who do not belong to the great State of Minnesota–like I do–a brief summary of what is going on in the the great barren northern wasteland of Minnesota can be found here : http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/122401039.html (I really urge you to read the whole article. This kind of bullshit is happening all over the country.)

I get emails from all sorts of grassroots, pro-choice, activist networks, and one of them (I can’t recall the specific one) sent me an email asking me to sign an (e?)petition that would urge my respective state representative to vote against this measure. Of course, I signed the petition. In response, I received this email from my local representative, Paul Torkelson:

“Hi Sanjeev,
Thank you for writing and sharing your views on the marriage amendment.  I understand and appreciate the energy and emotions surrounding the debate regarding the definition of marriage.  I have heard from many people on both sides of the issue and have decided to support the effort to place the question on the ballot.  This question has been on the ballot in more than thirty other states across the country and I believe it would be best to let the people decide the definition of marriage by voting on it. Thanks again for writing.  Whether we agree or have a difference of opinion it is always a good thing to hear from the people I represent here at the capitol.

Take care,
Paul”

Because Paul was so keen on hearing the people he represents, I sent him a response email for the first time:

“Hi, Paul.

The thing that I’m concerned about is that the equality of our citizens is effectively being voted on by the citizens of Minnesota. As far as I know, all Americans are guaranteed equal treatment under law by the U.S. Constitution, the law of the land. To me, I can’t really see a distinction between putting an initiative on the ballot for denying LGBTers the right to marry and putting an initiative on the ballot to prevent interracial marriage or preventing African-Americans or Latinos the right to vote; civil rights aren’t up to the public to decide. This issue isn’t a popular vote issue.

“The reason I’m so concerned, Paul, is because this issue is very dear to me. A close relative of mine is a gay woman. I’m worried because she wants to get married in the future, but she couldn’t because if there was an amendment to the state constitution declaring her and her partner as second-class citizens to heterosexual citizens, like me. The only thing she could do to become married is to move to another state like Iowa or Massachusetts, and that would involve having to form many new relationships, getting a new job, and, effectively, starting all over.

“What kind of signal would be sent to the public if LBGTers weren’t allowed to marry? They wouldn’t have the same rights as straight couples, and many people would assume that their love isn’t as true or real as the love of straight couples, and I KNOW this isn’t true. I have firsthand knowledge of this, and it pains me everyday that much of the public, and in some cases the federal and state governments of this great country, are hostile to my close relative, and that the possibility remains that she will never get the right to marry. It’s a shame.

“I know you are very busy, Paul, but I would greatly appreciate a response.

Take care,

Sanjeev Mishra, MN”

Should we pass laws

1.) preventing interracial marriages?

2.) not allowing non-whites to vote?

3.) not allowing ethnic minorities to drive?

Because, again, I don’t see the difference between any of those three things and not allowing LGBTers to get married. It completely baffles me. If you don’t allow gays to get married, you are taking a right away from them because of something they can’t help. It’s just like the other three issues.

Whenever I debate people on gay marriage, I’ve made a commitment to make them admit one thing: they don’t like gay people. That’s the only reason these imbeciles would oppose gay marriage. It’s completely beyond me why any reasonable, even BARELY reasonable person, would have any reason to oppose gay marriage beyond a religious reason, and there are a lot of reasons why that’s a shitty argument to begin with.

I have yet to receive a response from Paul, and I fully expect to not get one. However, it would be nice if he listened to his constituent and represented me on Minnesota’s Capitol Hill.

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