An Open Letter to Jim Oberweis on His Stance Against Gay Marriage

Dear Senator Oberweis,

You do not represent my district in the Illinois legislature; but seeing as I'm a big fan of your ice cream, I thought I'd give you a holler. In fact, your delicious caramel shakes (coupled with frequent burgers and cheese fries from Al's Beef) were a big part of my 50 lb. weight gain during my first pregnancy. I'm not blaming you, of course, on account of that "personal responsibility" thing your Republican friends are always crowing about. (And don't worry, I've lost all the weight since then.)

Today's letter, however, is not about ice cream (would that it were). Nope, today I'm writing to you about your stance against marriage equality. I just don't get it. And I hate singling you out, sir, but I've yet to hear an argument against gay marriage that makes any logical sense, especially coming from Republicans, who are (they'd like you to believe) all about individual liberty.

Is it the whole "ruining the institution of marriage" thing? Because that's ridiculous. If copious divorce and green card weddings and elopements at the Tiny Little Elvis Chapel/Taco Bell in Las Vegas haven't ruined the institution of marriage, then Jim and Tim getting hitched after ten years in a committed relationship ain't gonna do it either. And how their marriage affects your marriage remains beyond the bounds of my understanding as well.

Is it the biological argument, that since two men together and two women together can't reproduce, they shouldn't be allowed to marry? Because if that were the criteria, then no woman who has gone through menopause should be allowed to marry either, nor should couples who choose not to have children or couples who, for whatever reason, can't have children.

Is it "because the Bible tells us so?" Because the Bible tells us a lot of things to which we no longer pay any heed. And this is not a church issue at this point. There are too many rights and privileges ascribed to married couples and there are too many disadvantages that come with being an unmarried couple. This is a civil rights issue. If the churches want to keep "marriage" a sacrament defined by their laws, then maybe it's time the state got out of the "marriage" business and started issuing civil union licenses instead.

Is it the slippery slope argument, like if we're letting two men get married today, what's to keep us from letting three men get married tomorrow? Or letting Elizabeth marry her pet poodle? Because no one is asking for those things. We're still asking for marriage to be a union between two consenting adult humans. Any two consenting adult humans.

Is it just the fact that your party has decided en masse to vote this way? Because then you're taking the cowardly stance, walking the party line, and that's the kind of thinking that has culminated in the clusterfrakkery currently happening in Washington and Springfield. Or is this just a straight up power grab on your part, trying to take Pat Brady's job as GOP chairman?

A growing majority of people in this country support the right of a person to marry whomever s/he damn well pleases; so if you continue to stand on the side against marriage equality, you will find yourself on the wrong side of history. I'd think you, a shrewd businessman, might not want to alienate a whole bunch of people just for dogma's sake. Even if you personally don't like the idea of Steve marrying Adam or Jane marrying some other lady named Jane, maybe just suck it up and recognize that their union has absofrickinlutely nothing to do with you and how you live your life. But it does have everything to do with them being able to see their loved ones in the final moments of  life. It has everything to do with finance and inheritance and being able to adopt children who need a loving family. So why don't you just back off and maybe offer up a free scoop of ice cream with every Illinois marriage license as a token of good will?

Sincerely,

Julie

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