Letter from daughter of Gay Dad
By Janinna

Juan is a 50 year old man who has been with his partner, Mani for 12 years. Long before he and Mani met, Juan felt that because he was Mormon and because society didn’t accept him, he got married and had four daughters. When he and his wife got a divorce he felt that he finally was free and he decided to come out of the closet, but the only people that knew he was gay were his closest family members. He had visitation with his daughter but they never would have thought that their father was gay because he introduced his partner as his friend and roommate. His daughters looked up to Mani and considered him an uncle. When the girls were living with their mother they had many problems so Juan was able to gain custody of his daughters. Now that the girls were living with him, Juan felt that the time was right to come out to his daughters. His daughters looked up to him so much that they did not judge him. They accepted that he and Mani were truly in love with each other, and really that was all that mattered to them because the girls love their dad and they love Mani.
Juan lives in San Diego, Ca, and he is my father. When it comes to freedom and equality, gays should be allowed to marry. I feel that if we are living in a supposed “free” country, no rights should be denied.
Allowing gays to marry would be the greatest thing that my family could ask for. Mani has diabetes and because my dad and he are not legally bound, he does not qualify for my dad’s health insurance. All the fees for his medications and doctors’ visits come out of their pockets. In the article “Why Fear Same-Sex Marriages” by William Raspberry he says, “Granting same-sex unions the same moral and legal standing as marriage is destructive of society’s most important institution.” I totally disagree with this statement. The most important institution is equality and that is the foundation with which our country stands on.
Committed relationships would help stabilize society, no matter what orientation they are. Studies show that people who marry are better off financially, emotionally, psychologically, and even medically and because of this, allowing gay marriage would be beneficial. In the article, “Arguments for Gay Marriage: Moral and Social Arguments for Gay Marriage” by Austin Cline, About.com Guide he says “Conservatives who usually oppose gay marriage argue, correctly, that stable families are a cornerstone to a stable society. Families are the smallest social unit in society and trends in the family inevitably affect trends in society as a whole – and vice-versa, of course. Allowing gays to marry will help better integrate them and their relationships into society. Ensuring that gay relationships are stable and receive support will benefit the stability of society overall.”
Heterosexuals take the words “my husband” and “my wife” for granted. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi got married on August 16th 2008, and now have the privilege of calling each other “my wife”. Ellen and Portia were on Oprah’s show and they sat down and talked to her about their marriage and how they had grown as a couple. “We’re perfect for each other. She is so beautiful and so smart and so funny, and with her, I have that sense of,” I’m done now”. I’m settled. I know that part of my life is taken care of. I’ve got love. I’ve got someone who will be with me till the day I die.” Many gay couples cannot say or guarantee that when they die their partner is going to be there, most doctors only allow relatives to visit. But it’s not just marriage that gays want, its equality. They want the same rights that go along with being together and they want the rights that go along with being in love.
Mani and my dad have been together for 12 years. My mom and my dad were only married for 6 years that is only half as long. Fifty percent of hetero-marriages end in divorce. Children need a stable environment and that can only be achieved if the parents are good role models and are committed to one another. Three years after my parents got divorced my mom got remarried. There is a 67% chance of divorce in a second marriage, and a 74% chance of divorce in a third marriage for heterosexuals. We can’t say that these numbers will be the same for gays because they are not allowed to get married, but I know for a fact that my dad and Mani will be together for many more years than my mom and my step dad are.
My dad is the best father, and Mani is also the best “uncle”. He treats us like his own, and I want them to have the same rights that my sisters and I have. In the article “Let Gays Marry” Andrew Sullivan says, “People ask us why we want to marry, but the answer is so obvious. It’s the same reason anyone wants the right to marry. At some point in our lives, some of us are lucky enough to meet the person we truly love. And we want to commit to that person in front of our family and country for the rest of our lives.” That is exactly what my family wants for my dad and Mani; we want them to be able to say “my husband” instead of my partner. They are lucky enough to have found each other and they should have the right to marry. Some say that marriage is specifically for a man and a woman, but I say that marriage is between two people that love each other. It is not fair that my sisters and I have the right to marry and my dad doesn’t. To be happy and to be in love is a birth right, and the right to get married should also be, no matter what sexual orientation you are. Our pledge of allegiance says, “With liberty and justice for all”. The right for gays to marry is just.