Ricky Cortez – September 12, 2012
My family means everything to me. Like many that have had a difficult journey creating their family, it means more than I could have possibly imagined. I am so blessed my dreams have been answered and I have the honor of being a parent to the most amazing child I have ever come in contact with. I look forward to the opportunity to expand my family further in the future, but I may encounter more difficulty than previously imagined. Please take a moment to read on as this is an important decision for me and my family; a decision that could change my life and the lives of over two million children in families like mine.
This country is going through a very difficult time and no one person or one administration will be able to solve every problem in the next four years. And while you can debate the current administration’s record and decide on its successes and its failures, there is no denying that it has extended rights and protections to my family that we did not have four years ago. My family is finally getting basic rights and protections that all American families have. Many of these rights were not included in the original constitution, but like the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage and freedom of speech they have been added to be in alignment with contemporary notions of equality and civil rights for all Americans. This fair and equal treatment is what gives America the title, “The Land of the Free.”
What’s at stake for me in this election is my family. I can’t imagine not having the love of my life and my child by my side as I look to expand my family. Romney / Ryan intends to challenge my family’s rights and protections and take those protections away from me, not just on an individual state level, but on a national level. The GOP has a history of voting YES to banning gay adoption. If this happens on a federal level it could remove the freedom I have to adopt. Depending on the state the child was born in could effect if I get to take the child home or could possibly disqualify me from adopting my child after he has been in my home for 6-12 months. To all the parents, I ask, “Could you imagine your child being taking from your home?” Government should not have the right to take that basic freedom away, merely due to the sex of the person I love and share my life with.
Currently, I can not be discriminated against because of sexual orientation when looking for a job. My health insurer can not turn me or my family away because of my sexual orientation. My partner can visit me in most hospitals in America and can make medical decisions for my family and me. Imagine your loved one being in an accident or near death and not being allowed to see them in the hospital, just because your family is traveling though a state that does not recognize your relationship. Imagine being assaulted while walking down the street just because you were holding hands with your loved one. Finally, protections are in place to protect my well being and my family. That could all be erased. I can’t imagine the government taking away my ability to adopt, get a job, provide health care or make medical decisions for my family. These are basic rights that should be protected by our government not eliminated.
Romney / Ryan have voted YES on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. They have voted YES on banning gay adoptions. They have voted NO on enforcing against anti-gay hate crimes. Romney opposes laws like ENDA, which would make it a federal crime to discriminate in employment based on sexual orientation. Romney / Ryan have a history of voting to make my family invalid, unattainable and unprotected.
A vote for Romney / Ryan could take away basic human rights, rights afforded to all tax paying citizens in this country. A vote for Romney / Ryan could take away my future child. A vote for Romney / Ryan could take away my rights with the love of my life. A vote for Romney / Ryan is a vote against my family. I understand there are so many other factors, but I searched long and hard and could not find a reason to have a person in my life that would make that vote.
When you go to vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, please remember your vote could take away my family’s basic rights. Would you want those rights taken away from you? Please re-read this and put yourself in my shoes. If you have children in your life, imagine your life without them. Imagine your life without your family. For those who still actively decide to vote for Romney / Ryan, I will continue to pray for your well being, but know that you are voting to potentially destroy mine. What’s at stake? My dreams, my love and my family.
I wish there were more choices on both sides.
I wish there were better records on both sides.
I wish that a vote on either side would not affect my family so greatly, but it will.
I am not asking you to vote for anyone.
I am asking that you DO NOT vote for an administration that would take away the rights that protect my family.
I am asking you to take the opportunity to do something for civil rights by NOT voting for Romney / Ryan.
Please don’t vote to take my dreams, my love or my family away from me and the two million children raised in families like mine.
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