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02/16/2011

At a loss

by Jeremy Hooper

Respected Attorney. Ivy League grad. Former athletic star. Catholic parishioner. National Organization For Marriage board member. Father.

His name is not what's important to our interests. It's only his advocacy that matters. His actions against others' civil rights. His engagement in the public realm. And recently, that civil engagement led this man to the Rhode Island Capitol so that he could testify against marriage equality for gay couples. Testimony in which he quite literally said that same-sex marriage would harm children's futures. Testimony in which he presented only one type of family fit to steward little ones into grown adults. Testimony in which he purported to have all of the answers: On parenting, on childhood, on responsible growth, on life.

But there's another component to the story, as there so often is. A tale of a child who chose to end his own future. By suicide. A child denied some sense of protection, if only within his own brain. A son who, plagued by the pressures of the world and whatever demons were within his own mind, opted for an early exit. A son who, clearly riddled with questions, found his own non-traditional solution. The child's action coming just a month prior the father's marriage testimony.

I (thankfully) can't imagine the inexplicable grief that comes with such loss, and would never purport to. But through that grief, to even have the ability, much less THE DESIRE to step up and take a stand against other parents' sons? Daughters? Children? Futures? Well that simply blows my mind. Breaks my heart, more accurately.

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