Note: My dear friend and former student, Danny Upton, posted this on his Facebook wall today. It’s fascinating to read this exchange between friends who disagree, and I wish ALL my friends, especially those who still favor discrimination against same-sex couples, would read it. — Gillian


Danny writes:

I just saw that a long-time friend of mine from a conservative religious background had posted a graphic of a man, woman, and child from one of the “traditional marriage” organizations. I’m going to post our exchange:

Danny Upton: Hey, Katie, I’ve known you for over a decade now. You’ve been to my home. We’ve broken bread together. I just want you to know how hurtful it is to me to know that you don’t support my right to equal protection under the law.

Katie: Wow! I can hardly believe it’s been that long! That makes me feel so old! I was just thinking of you a few days ago and wondered if you were still local and how you were! I hope you are well! My stance for traditional marriage is certainly not one aimed at hurting you, whom I consider a friend, or anyone else that believes differently than I. I do try to understand the sensitivity of the issue, but my understanding of the institution of marriage leads me to support the traditional definition of marriage. However the supreme court decision turns out tomorrow, I do hope that my words and actions will be God-honoring. I also hope that despite my differing convictions on this issue, you understand how highly I think of you and that my stance on marriage is not one grown from malicious intent.

Danny Upton: I believe that, but I cannot accept that. And at the end of the day, you must see how fundamentally unfair your view is. If my side wins, you will still be able to believe however you believe. Your church will still be able to teach whatever your church teaches. You will still be able to marry the partner of your choice. You will still be able to inherit his property automatically, even in the absence of a will, if–God forbid–something bad happens to him. You will still be able to draw from his Social Security. You will still be able to make emergency medical decisions for him. You will still be able to determine his final resting place. If he happens to be a non-citizen, you will still be able to petition for him to live and work permanently in this country. But if your side wins, I will have to live according to YOUR religious convictions–not my own. I will have to live according to YOUR church’s teachings–not my own. I will NOT be able to marry the partner of my choice. In fact, I will spend a lifetime with a partner that the law will regard as nothing more than a roommate–like someone you might have shared an apartment with during college. He will not automatically inherit my property–including the house that is his home–if something happens to me. And if I leave him any property in a will, he will be forced to pay estate taxes that you and your husband would never have to pay. We will not be able to make emergency medical decisions for each other. And every year at tax time, we will be forced to pay higher taxes than a similarly situated straight couple–taxes that will support public services and social programs that unequally benefit you and your family and unequally disadvantage me and mine. So this is not an agree-to-disagree situation in which all outcomes are equal. Whether your intent is malicious doesn’t matter. The outcome is. Your support for “traditional marriage” (which isn’t even traditional anyway, which I am sure you know based on your knowledge of the evolution of marriage throughout scripture) does HARM to me and does HARM to my family, even though I have never–to my knowledge–done or supported the doing of any harm to you.