Thursday, April 23, 2009

Testimony from Maine (via "Pam's House Blend")

Posted on Pam's House Blend this moving testimony from the public hearings in Maine on marriage equality should be required reading for anybody who still doesn't "get" that marriage for gay people isn't ANY different that it is for straight people -- and the fact that couples like this are still together after all those years in SPITE of what they've had to overcome, well ... read it for yourself. And go ahead and weep if you want. The rest of us already have!

Good afternoon Senator Bliss, Representative Priest and members of the Judiciary Committee.

My name is Jarad Platt; I live in Farmington and I am here to urge you to support LD 1020. I am speaking for myself.

I am a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) employed by the Maine Office of Substance Ab use as a Treatment Specialist; I am Coordinator of Substance Abuse Treatment for the adult Maine State Prisons, the Maine Adult Drug Treatment Courts and the Maine Co_occurring Disorders Courts.

My partner is Daniel Gazette. Danny is an Administrative Assistant. We are registered as Domestic Partners in Maine and have been together for 34 years. we both work full time jobs, pay local, state and federal taxes, own a home and autos, support charities, and are integrated into the Farmington community.

We have supported each other through the critical illness of Danny's mother and the death of his father. My mother lived with us for 16 years and died at age 96 last month. When mother knew she was close to passing, she wrapped her arms around Danny's neck and whispered to him "I want you to take care of Jarad for me."

I was caretaker for Danny as he went through cancer of the larynx sugery and radiation treatments and then a heart attack. Danny was caretaker for me when I had a ruptured colon and the attendant surgeries, and a nearly fatal kidney failure and congestive heart failure. We are both fully receovered.

Our lives have always been inclusive of intense family relationships. Mother was a lifelong Baptist. Her faith and religion was not in a box. I didn't come out as a gay man until I was 35. My father had already passed, my mother immediately accepted me.

Danny was kicked out of the Arny for being gay. Danny's dad, George, didn't understand homosexuality when Danny came out to his family, so they had a tenuous relationship for a few years. At Danny's sister's wedding George gave his daughter $500; he gave Danny $10 and told him he'd get the rest when he got married. Danny told his dad he had just saved $490.

The second Christmas we were together at Danny's parents' house, his mother and father were so excited. George got out his camera, Danny's mom could hardly contain herself. Danny opened his gift, which was 2 pairs of socks. We were both confused by the excitement of his parents. Then Danny saw the corner of a piece of paper under one of the socks, and took out a check for $490.

That was love and acceptance.

My hope is that this committee and the entire Senate and House can see what George saw- love and committment worthy of marriage. Danny's mom called Monday to say she hoped that this bill would pass, that "you guys deserve this".

I love Danny with all my heart, a love that has grown over the years we have been together. Danny tells me the same. I want my relationship with Danny to be honored. He and I are honorable people and their is no reason our lives and love don't qualify for marriage.

Please support LD 1020.

Thank you.

1 comment:

Jim said...

Well clearly that threatens 'traditional marriage!' We straights seldom stay together that long and lovingly.