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04/09/2013

You guys, Ryan Anderson has an 'obligation' to take away our marriage rights; be respectful of his burden

by Jeremy Hooper

The only reason why the matter of equal marriage rights is up for a debate is because certain citizens have decided it is their (largely faith-motivated) duty to stand in the way of what is the obviously right and fair thing to do. But leave it to the practitioners of the pro-discrimination movement to turn their chosen role into the victimized position:

“Everyone I know who is working on this issue would rather be doing something else,” said Ryan Anderson, who co-authored the book What
Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense
. “But we feel like we have an obligation to be doing this.” [WORLD mag]

Well sure, I would absolutely like to be doing something else. I've said from day one of my work here at G-A-Y and elsewhere that my hope is to eventually put myself out of business. That is still how I feel today, eight-and-a-half years later.

The difference? If I walk away from the is fight—and certainly if I and my allies had walked away from this fight ten years ago, when we were losing—then that would leave me and my family vulnerable. If Mr. Anderson and his Screen Shot 2013-04-09 At 9.24.12 Amfellows are free to extend their wishes to their logical goalposts, then my vulnerabilities would culminate in me being legally estranged from my legally-wed husband. Being someone who very much enjoys the rights of equal citizenship and the responsibilities of being a good husband (and eventual father), I am not willing to sit back and let people like Ryan Anderson shape the American playing field so that it tilts against the millions of people who were born like me. Call me too self-respecting if you must, but I kind of like sitting at the big kids table. I love my husband more than I love oxygen. I know it's shocking and crazy, but I'm not willing to let self-appointed social conservatives (who are almost exclusively faith-driven) to forcibly foreclose on my wedding ring—an antagonistic duty that they perform for both political connectivity and profit.

Mr Anderson had a choice. If he followed his own wish that he could (and, I'd suggest, his internal conscience telling him that he should) work on something else, then his life would not be negatively affected in one demonstrable way. He would still be free to marry. He would still be free to pontificate against us in the public sphere. He would still be free to team up with politically-connected NOM cofounder Robby George (his Princeton mentor) on any number of "protect marriage" projects. Ryan Anderson would still have the peace of mind and clear privilege that comes from being born into this world as a white, heterosexual, able-bodied, cisgender, Christian male. No one is threatening that. I'm surely not.

But if I walk away? I lie awake at night wondering who will threaten my family next, and I wake up fearful of what they might want to deny me this go-around. Ryan Anderson is just one of the paid activists who is spending his post-college life ensuring that I do.

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