Proposition H8: An Open Letter to Andy Pugno


Andrew Pugno,  serves as the Chief Legal Counsel for protectmarriage.com which spearheads the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign.

Mr. Pugno ~

Proposition 8Erika Napoletano here – no relation to Janet or the other plethora of political Napoletanos running around out there. See, I got the name in the divorce. (Yes, the D-Word.) It was fancy, had a ring to it. While I didn’t want the relationship that went with the ring, I kept the snazzy name. I can already tell I’m your worst nightmare. I build broken homes.

I’ve been following your shenanigans for a while now and I have to say that I’m disappointed you played the “for the children” card. While I’m legally twenty years past being included with the children, I can remember what it was like growing up in a home with heterosexual parents.

They were divorced. Damn them and their selfishness, refusing to stay together for the children. My mother worked and went to school, my dad held a civil engineering job. My brother, sister and I were latchkey kids, microwaving after school snacks and learning to cook on nights mom got home late. We spent every other weekend at Dad’s, playing with model trains and running around his tiny little apartment until he told us to simmer down since people lived below him. Christ – kids really can’t run quietly. It was a bit of a buzzkill, but hey – those were the rules.

I’m not going to give you a story about wanting love, needing love or yearning for an intact household that my parents, who couldn’t find a way to live together, so unjustly deprived us. My brother, sister and I all graduated Summa Cum Laude from Nimitz High School in Houston, Texas (with little sis eeking out a class rank of 7th ahead of my brother’s and my kindred score of 9th in our class years…the pipsqueak) and equal honors from college. I went off to college on a full scholarship. My brother is currently pursing his Masters in Psychology and my sister a Masters in Library Science (in addition to being an ordained Lutheran Children’s Minister). They’re awesome kids – people I’m proud to call my brother and sister.

And my parents – my divorced parents – are pretty damn awesome as well.

See, children don’t need an intact, heterosexual household to succeed. They need love. Fellow blogger Sinclair Sexsmith (@MrSexsmith) took the words right out of my mouth when she so eloquently said:

“Children are best raised by folks who love them, care for them, provide their basic needs, nurture their creativity and strength, support them and believe in them. Though there is one dominant narrative for how families “should” look – the nuclear two-parent heterosexual household – there have been plenty of studies supporting family units that look different from that are just as valuable for the child. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, step-parents, foster parents – the structure doesn’t matter so much as the content.”

Content, my dear Mr. Pugno. Not context.

If I had been raised in the context of heterosexual parents who so obviously despised one another, who would I be today? Would I be an outspoken social media consultant and blogger-for-hire…write a weekly column for a website about sex toys and exploring sexuality…climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro…discovered a love for cycling…be wrapped in the daily embrace of friendships I’m proud to have earned and am learning to nurture more and more each day.

Would I?

My parents, heterosexual in their own right, gave me love and support as they knew how. The context of a single parent home gave me the opportunity to become self-sufficient and embrace the fact I had two parents who loved me – they just lived in different places. The content? Love. Love, love, love.

Mr. Pugno, Fuck You

But Mr. Pugno – fuck you and every one of your Protect Marriage supporters for saying that my childhood is worth less because I didn’t come from an intact heterosexual home. And double fuck you for condemning those who choose to live a life that doesn’t fit your “ideal” of a “marriage.”

I’m twice-divorced. Why? Well, it’s not because I’m a lesbian or that I don’t believe in marriage. I’m a die-hard romantic, believing strongly that, as the person I’ve come to be, I have a better set of tools today to build a successful marriage than I did when I was young, ignorant and stupid and decided to walk down the aisle with two men I truly loved and initiate unions that would ultimately not last.

Marriage didn’t fail me: it was the failure of the human relationship.

What you’re telling me is that a heterosexual relationship has more value than a same-sex relationship. That one version of love is more important than another. Actually, I’m willing to entertain that notion, but here’s the rub:

A Challenge

If you can tell me that heterosexual couples are able to feel and live with love more deeply than two people of the same sex (and substantiate your case) – I’ll suck your dick on national television. Now, before you get all hot about the blowjob, I get to counter you arguments. I will introduce you to Amy and Cindiman, Cheryl and Kate, Elisa and Megan. These are six women I’m very lucky to have in my life – and they’re lesbians.

And they all visibly experience a love for their partners – their wives, if you will – that makes my heart skip a beat each time I see them. And once you meet these beautiful women, then we’ll go on a field trip to Walmart. There, I’ll show you some really awesome heterosexual couples with children. If we’re lucky, we’ll get some, Shut the fuck ups and I’m gonna beat yer asses while we’re there.

It’s the Content, Not the Context

Then I’ll take you to an egg donor agency (Gifted Journeys in Studio City, CA), one run by my best friend, who actively and openly works with same-sex couples. See, they’re in the Building a Family business. On a daily basis, they see people who want children more than many people who end up with them the old fashioned way. Many of their recipient parents are gay, lesbian or transgendered. They understand that it is the content of the family, not the context, which creates supportive and loving households. For the children.

The Facts

I was fortunate enough to be provided a link by a social media acquaintance and (gasp) lesbian Mari Kurisato. It’s a pretty kickass study performed by the Australian Psychological Society (2007). Not only does it indicate that same-sex parenting relationships typically share the child-rearing burden more evenly, but that even gay male couples exhibit more active parenting roles than their heterosexual counterparts. (Wanna dig, Pugno? It’s on pages 17 and 18 of the study. Though since the study is all “gay,” I’m sure you wouldn’t dare bring it up in a browser window for fear of your computer catching the Gay Virus.)

Heather Cornwell was also gracious enough to share with me her thoughts on the beauty of an intact heterosexual home: she’s the product of one.

“Regarding the argument that children are best served by an intact male/female marriage, I would just point out that environment is only a partial determiner in the outcome of a childhood.  If we extrapolate that theory, then I should be a perfectly balanced, straight, Christian female.  Instead, I am a balanced, gay, agnostic female. My parents are still married, and demonstrated a great deal of affection towards each other, and to my siblings and myself.  I am a happy lesbian, my sister is a single, divorced mother and my brother is a single, divorced father.  Whether or not my parents were in an intact heterosexual relationship had little to no bearing on how my siblings and I have developed into adults.”

Your organization purports the following:

“Traditional marriage is the foundation of society and has served our state well for centuries. California’s constitutional marriage amendment exists to strengthen society, encourage monogamous and loving marriages and to provide the optimal environment to ensure the well being of children.”

Ensure the well-being of children. How noble. I’ll start heading towards a close with some interesting examples, all of which blow your reasoning more effectively than a $20 hooker:

  • Edward Albee (gay) – Adopted by a heterosexual couple. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (and one of my professors in college)

  • Patricia Cornwell (bisexual) – Product of a broken home, adopted. Best-selling author and former Medical Examiner for the State of Virginia.

  • Truman Capote (gay) – Abandoned by his parents (along with the rest of his siblings). Literary icon.

  • Dalai Lamas (celibate) – Once recognized, boys are removed from the home of their birth parents to be trained for their future station. While they do not lose contact with their birth family, they are not raised by them.

  • President Barack Obama (married, heterosexual) – Parents divorced when he was two. Last I checked, he holds the highest political office in the United States (much to your chagrin, I’m sure).

  • Menendez Brother (killed their parents) – heterosexual married parents.

  • John Wayne Gacy (serial killer) – heterosexual married parents.

Your rules fail you, Mr. Pugno. If heterosexuality is the stepping stone to familial and developmental perfection, you need to get to work on doctoring the history books ASAP.

Legislating Morality Makes Me Queasy

Mr. Pugno, the thought that your group of a mere 100-some-odd thousand folks who feel that they can drive to legislate morality makes me queasy. Considering the pro-Proposition 8 campaign raised $39.9 million in 2008 and continues to spend taxpayer dollars by tying up the court system tells me that there are a lot of people, while entitled to their beliefs, aren’t secure in them enough to nose the everloving fuck out of everyone else’s business and tend to their own families. And Heather, whom we met earlier, backs that up:

“In my opinion, this country was founded on NOT allowing the government to make our choices for us. Granted, the pilgrims were fleeing religious oppression, but I think that any oppression goes against the founding principles of our nation. If I choose to marry my partner, have children or not have children, the government should not be given a say in that decision. More to the point, the government should not DEMAND a say in that decision.”

The way I see it is this: you’re telling me there was almost $40 million available (in addition to the $43 million raised by anti-Prop 8 forces in 2008) in our economy to support the persecution people for being who they are instead of helping people become who they want to be? I’m speechless. And I’m sure the State of California, in its dismal financial state, is appalled as well. We’re a country that sings the hymn of human potential yet you fail to realize that this song is comprised of varying voices.

Stay the Fuck Out Of My Bedroom

In closing, I don’t think everything you and Protect Marriage are doing is bad. You’ve done one amazing thing that few others have been able to achieve: showing the world what is possible when an overzealous herd gets a little cash and begins substituting the word “government” for “religion.” I’m not on board with that. I’ll kindly have the government stay out of my bedroom, out of my vagina and out of the affairs of people with whom you wouldn’t deign to share a dinner table. “The children,” as you say, need protecting from people and organizations like you and yours, not from same-sex couples. Close-mindedness is a blight on the development of mankind. And the children – the future of this nation, the reminder that anything is possible and the glimmer of hope that winks over the horizon with each sunrise and sunset we’re blessed with witnessing.

Sincerely,

Erika Napoletano aka @DearRedhead/@RedheadWriting
Writer, Disruptive Presence, Devil’s Advocate…

PS: the offer for the blowjob still stands. Line up your case studies and I’ll line-up mine. If it’s a tie, we’ll have a kiss-off to determine the winner.

End note: The Executive Board of The American Anthropological Association, the world’s largest organization of anthropologists, released the following statement on February 26, 2004 in response to President Bush’s call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as a threat to civilization:

“The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.

The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples.”

Yeah. Suck it.

Special thanks to the following people who shared their insights with me:

Sinclair Sexsmith (Sugarbutch Chronicles and Radical Masculinity)

Natalie Hjelsvold

Heather Cornwell

Mari Kurisato

Toy With Me About Toy With Me

Comments

  1. Wow, what a bitter bitch. Perfect case for why an intact hetero family is necessary — if you don't, your daughter could end up on a sex-toy-and-lube site, spouting bitter hate about how no one can tell HER what to do, yadda yadda…

    • Dear Moi – Suck it. Love, Dear Redhead.

      PS: An intact hetero family means nothing if it's not filled with love. MUAH! Come back soon!

  2. @JoPo – grab a sense of humor. Take two, call me in the morning. And there’s no anger – I have a zero-tolerance policy for bullshit and Prop 8 is total bullshit. Calling BS on something is not “anger.” Perhaps YOU meant to use another word? And I shop at Walmart on occasion, while I abhor the company and everything it stands for. #hattip, good day.
    @schmutzie – and thank you :) you’re a gem and I appreciate you sharing the post with your community!

  3. This weblog is being featured on Five Star Friday! http://www.fivestarfriday.com/2010/01/five-star-fridays-edition-89.html

  4. MamasRockin says:

    “If you can tell me that heterosexual couples are able to feel and live with love more deeply than two people of the same sex (and substantiate your case) – I’ll suck your dick on national television. ” ROFLMFAO!!!! LOVE IT!

    Short and sweet, this is all such BULLSHIT. Love is Love, it is a gift no matter who you find it with. And a child raised in a home with love will be a healthy happy child regardless of whether his/her parents are M/F F/F or M/M! The whole thing is just bullshit….that’s my two cents.

  5. While I agree with your anger and the reason for this letter, I have to point out the classist nature of your comments about Wal-Mart. Your statement implies that families forced to shop on a budget are more likely to be dysfunctional and abusive. Maybe that’s not what you meant. Maybe you had in mind another characterization of Wal-Mart shoppers (rural? uneducated?). Either way, it’s unfair to make broad generalizations about whatever group you think you would encounter on your field trip. There are bad parents everywhere, it’s a serious problem, and classist stereotypes shouldn’t be reinforced.

  6. BRAVO!!!!

    My son, the activist:
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=9780854&l=be75772c7c&id=624050493

    I just signed up to volunteer with gay pride Houston. they told me I was one of about 5 straight chicks wanting to hang with them. Sad.

  7. Loved this….it touched me, a single mother who chose NOT to get married because I knew my single mother household would be better for my son rather than a two parent household that was only for show. Only being together because that’s what is the norm is not ok. Doing what is best for the children is #1. So why would my household be less? We have love…we have rules…we have fun, too. And we’re doing it our way, which is right for us. And if a same-sex couple wants a family to love and cherish, nothing should stop them.

  8. Holy shit – Wade is writing next week’s column! ;)

    Thanks for stopping by, Wade. Your viewpoint and substantiation is appreciated.

  9. Wade macMorrighan says:

    RE: Mr. Pugno’s exacerbating and unfounded allegations that, “Traditional marriage is the foundation of society and has served our state well for centuries.”, I point you, sir, in the direction of the historical, anthropological, and ethnographic record which you, NOM, Republicans, and Conservatives of all stripes have been consistently ignoring, rejecting, and denying:

    I am well aware of the work of openly Gay Anthropologist, Will Roscoe, on the Native American homosexual male tribes members who were believed to be natural-born shamans as a result (like almost every ancient culture in fact, for they revered us!), as well as the fact that they were highly regarded and deeply sought after by other men has spouses. It was, I believe (as with almost every culture) that the Christian missionaries and post-Colonial America subjected the native peoples and had a devastating impact upon their reverence for the Queer. (Incidentally, there was a new–never-before-seen tribe discovered in the Amazon a few years ago; the country mandated a very strict law prohibiting westerners/ modern South Americans/ and especially missionaries from corrupting their indigenous culture. ‘Course, guess what happened? The Evangelical Christians pitched a *FIT* and attempted to get a legal exemption based on religious grounds to “mission” to these “primitives”. Their recourse failed–and it is worth noting that the Missionary is the BANE of the Anthropologist at destroying native cultures! And, they are absolutely unapologetic for that CRIME!) In Roscoe’s most recent book–“Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love”–he details the Asiatic shamanic tribes people known as the Chuckchi (or Chuckchee), whose homosexual shamans are known in our tongue as “soft men” and, like the Native American pre-Colonial cultures (for NA’s have come to despise homosexuality, *now*) these specific shamans were believed to be naturally-born shamans and were deeply sought after by other men as a spouse! “Marriage is the union of a man and a woman” my foot! You, Pugno (and NOM, and whomever else) apparently have an obvious distaste for the historical record other than your Bible (which this Witch finds more than a little offensive)!

    There is also evidence amid my Celtic ancestors from a Greek historian who walked among them in Gaul (ancient France and western Germany) that they seem to have preferred homosexual relationships, or thought it was considered offensive to refuse the offer of Queer bed-hopping. But, love and sex in antiquity was far more of an open category than the puritanical vision that Mr. Pugno pines for (indeed, it is even so in modern-day Europe where they don’t have the hang-ups that we insularized Americans do)! Even the medieval Irish Brehon laws suggest that two males could legally marry within that Celtic context. There is also the late openly Gay historian of Harvard, Prof. John Boswell, who has shown throughout his work that the medieval Catholic Church has, albeit rarely, solemnized over the marriage between two men; and that the word “Gay” in reference to a class/ minority of homosexuals can be traced clear back to the medieval or Renaissance periods. Although, I have heard a rumor about the later fall-out of Prof. Boswell’s work (unless I’m confusing him for some other historian), who received special permission from the Vatican to use its archives for his research based upon his reputation as a BRILLIANT scholar and Prof. of History at Harvard. However, again as I have *heard*, after Prof. Boswell’s materials on the antiquity of homosexuality as a community and our tolerance up until the 14th. Century when we were culturally vilified (even burned as heretics and Witches during the latter Inquisition!), those original source materials which he translated and cited within his texts from the Vatican immediately vanished from the archives!

    Prof. Boswell also commented upon the fact that we live in a society with religiously-imposed heterosexuality (which, obviously, can be psychologically scarring for Gay kids!).

    According to the Defense’s own witness, Dr. Nathenson, the American Anthropological Association supports Gay marriage on culturally relevant grounds. So, I went snooping and found this wonderfully-written policy statement by the AAA (which ol Mags Gallagher would probably find some anti-Christian fault with): http://www.aaanet.org/issues/policy-advocacy/Statement-on-Marriage-and-the-Family.cfm . There’s also this fascinating article by one Adrian Brune, who cites the AAA’s position, called “Anthropologists Debunk ‘Traditional Marriage’ Claim” (don’t be put off by the website; it’s mission is actually to end the harm caused by religious-based bigotry!): http://www.faithinamerica.info/traditionalMarriage.php . I, for one, am so frakking *tired* to watching NOM, Republicans and Conservatives flooding the air-waves (and fallaciously-biased e-mails)–MISREPRESENTING the historical and ethnographic record–and state that “marriage has always been one man and one woman for thousands and thousands of years”! That’s offensive, and an out-right LIE! How do you reconcile the testimony of Dr. Young (another religious Prop 8 witness) who testified in her deposition, under oath in the US of A that, “Just because something is a ‘norm’, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s an appropriate ‘norm’. It has to then be reassessed within the contemporary context to *see* if there are good reasons *why* that ‘norm’ should remain.” So much for “Traditional marriage”, ‘eh?

    Hmmm…I’m surprised that Mags hasn’t, yet, tried to state that there never were any culturally sanctioned marriages between two men or two women forever and always, in every culture on the entire planet! That presumes that one thinks that Maggie is making a researched opinion; but I, and many other historians and scholars know better! I just wish that the general public were being made aware of these FACTS from Anthropological and little-known historical sources as I have briefly outlined above. *sigh*

    This beautiful work by scholars is so moving and powerful for me as a Gay man, because it shows that, despite many modern Christians (who like to claim that we did not HAVE a history until the 1970s!), we do, in fact, have an ancient and POWERFUL pedigree!

    Anyone interested in reading more about our ancient pedigree (which I recommend) should pick up a copy of the following books:

    * Cassell’s Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol and Spirit (a BRILLIANT starter!)
    * Queer Spirits: A Gay Men’s Myth Book, ed. and comp. by Will Roscoe
    * Another Mother Tongue: Gay Words, Gay Worlds, by Judy Grahn
    * Blossom of Bone: Reclaiming the Connection Between Homoeroticism and the Sacred, by Randy P. Conner
    * Witchcraft and the Gay Counterculture, by Arthur Evans
    * Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods, by Ronald Long
    * The Zuni Man-Woman, by Will Roscoe
    * Jesus and the Shamanic Tradition of Same-Sex Love, by Will Roscoe
    * Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe
    * Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century

    NB: Prof. Boswell says “Christian Era” in his sub-title; however, academia has been making headway in respect for others’ religions by abstaining from the use of “BC” (Before Christ) and AD (Latin abrev. for “After the Year of Our Lord”), and instead have been using BCE (Before Common Era”) and CE (Common Era) though other non-Christian motivated abbreviations have also been used by scholars in recent years.

  10. Wade macMorrighan says:

    Actually, I believe that I have heard the argument (through NOM’s Maggie Gallagher, before) that Gay couples either do not, or CANNOT possess the ability to, feel love for their spouse to the same extent that our heterosexual coevals (err, overlords!) can and do! Obviously this rubbish has no basis in reality, and is a very old and historical tactic employed to make it seem “more natural” to subjugate and vilify a given minority for being “different”. One wonders, however, if this “claim” (bogus as it is) results from how str8 society perpetually sexualizes our relationships and the mere fact that ANY knowledge about the existence of Gay people is apparently “an adult issue” (as Robb and Robin Wirthin believe, albeit they are members of the SPLC’s official “hate group”, MASS Resistance), whereas with re: to Het. weddings, it’s all about da’ love and da’ commitment! Testimony re: this was given by Prof. of History at Yale Univ., Dr. George Chauncey!

  11. Well, I thought I had a little girl crush on you from earlier, but having read this brilliant diatribe, I know it… ;)

  12. @Jordon – you had me at “fuckyouity” *swoon!*
    @Michael – thanks for stopping by! And you’re right – sexual orientation is no solution for what ails the parenting system. :)

    Thanks everyone for the comments that keep rolling in. Your support, thoughts and feedback are what makes an issue a dialogue. (humbled)

  13. Very powerful post. If heterosexuality were the answer to all family problems, we would have no divorce, no child and spousal abuse, no deadbeat dads or moms, no children in foster care, no babies dumped in toilets or dumpsters and no need for the show “Cheaters,” would we?

  14. If I weren’t already in a very happy hetero marriage with my wife, I may feel compelled to ask you to marry me. You have spelled the whole heterocentric fallacies of in the “Think of the children” argument.

    The idea that heterosexual parents are somehow better simply by virtue of being hetero is so laughable and infuriating at the same time.

    Thank you for shooting it down with such logic and poise mixed with appropriate levels of snark and fuckyouity.

  15. I am the product of a heterosexual two parent household. My parents hated each other, and it showed. Just because two people of the opposite sex got married and had children doesn’t make them good parents.

    If you love each other (and yourself), then you teach your children to love others. A happy and healthy home life is the most important thing you can give a child, be it in a single parent home, a gay home, or a hetero home

  16. Reuiji – A huge round of applause from me (and I’m sure MOST ToyWithMe’ers) for putting yourself out there. Thank you for your thoughts and stopping by :)

    Melissa – Thanks for the kind words and for sharing the post!

    Jason – Yes, I agree that most laws are legislating morality and agree with your point that: call your relationship what you will. No benefits or penalties shall apply. Novel. It’s a concepts that also applies to those who have children and who choose not to. Why the tax break for your lifestyle choice? Indeed.

  17. A-fucking-men. Well said. The “won’t someone think of the children” argument is bullshit. I’m the product of a single parent household; I have two boys, and my youngest son has two mothers. I will be damned if anyone tells me my childhood, and my children’s as well, were and are worthless because it doesn’t fit the heterosexual nuclear model. It is the Content – the Love – the child experiences in the family that is important – not the context.

    Thanks for this post; I’m sharing it with everyone I know.

  18. excellent read.

    i just wish you had told us how you REALLY feel.

    ;)

  19. The moment you legislate anything to be right or wrong you’re legislating morality. If you make the law say that murder is wrong you’re legislating morality. Some of the laws we generally follow, such as driving on a certain side of the road, are based on a moral principle that it’s wrong to cause injury or death to others (or yourself) by driving in an opposite direction to everyone else.

    The only question to be asked is whose morality should be legislated? In the USA, historically the basis for law has been the Christian moral system, imperfectly applied as it may well have been. Sitting outside the US I can’t see that the decay of that moral system as having had any benefit.

    However I also tend towards libertarianism, and part of that political belief is a reluctance to give the government more power than it absolutely must have. Whilst I would say that certain things are morally wrong, I would not want the government to have the power to control them when people should be doing that for themselves.

    Government should not have any part in marriage at any level. That resolves all problems. Call your relationship whatever you want, no legal benefits or penalties accrue to it.

  20. Amazing article.

    To share my own story for little reason: I’m an openly gay senior at my own high school. Life story sounds familiar, though I wish my grades were as good as yours! I figure that if this stuff dies down I’ll take a break and focus on them for a change.

    I’m here trying to do my part and fight the good fight. I outed myself last year because I was getting tired of the stereotypes people had started to associate with gay men. Gay jokes, fag jokes, ‘that’s so gay’, ‘that’s gay’, it was everywhere. Good grief, it was getting so tiring! This whole THING is so damn tiring! Eight days of breaking past the school’s internet firewall to follow the prop 8 trial. I don’t like being on trial; I don’t like having my rights voted on; I don’t like that people can be so ignorant.

    (Since my coming out I’ve had several closeted guys confide in me and admiring my bravery coming out and staying that way, breaking down stereotypes, no matter what happens to me.)

    But I do my part. I went around, asked senior classmates to register for voting so they could help me vote in Referendum 71. Stood up and did a presentation on gay rights in my Government class. They love it. It takes a lot out of me, but I’m showing them things that they won’t find in textbooks for almost a decade. I have the power to shape the world, and most importantly, change the way these people think. And that’s sure as hell what I’m going to do.

    Sometimes I feel like taking a vacation from it all, but I can’t. Small breaks are acceptable, though. I feel especially revitalized when I see that I’ve got allies like you, ready to keep shouting while I slip out for a nap.

  21. Kevin – fuck yeah

    Jessica, Rob, Sara, Lea, Miss Spoken – thank you for the kind words and for sharing.

    Bill – Traditional marriage was never put to the vote. Why should gay marriage? As I stated, since when have we as a nation voted for a class or demographic of people to be denied anything? That is my issue. We voted for affirmative action. We voted to give women the right to vote. We abolished slavery. We ended segregation. And now, we allow states to vote on the denial of financial, legal and socioeconomic benefits afforded to anyone who follows the model of heterosexual marriage? Fuck that, and a reiteration of my statement that Mr. Pugno and the Protect ‘Marriage’ clan can go fuck themselves. And for the record, I never called anyone rednecks – I merely linked to pictures taken at Walmart. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your thoughts :)

  22. My gay brother, his partner, my sometimes gay vagina and the world (aka my world) thanks you. Fucking lovely article, Redhead.

  23. Fantastic post! My favourite gay cousin is on his second husband, I need a divorce just to catch up!

    Well said, Dear Redhead.

  24. Here here!

    That is all. My gay sis thanks people as awesome as you.

  25. Bill longworth says:

    I like the article a lot,but I have a question?Why Is it everywhere they vote on gay marriage,it loses an everyone that is for. It can’t do Anything but bitch an call names?I don’t give a flip about what they do,but its voted on an does not win.That. Doesn’t make everyone a hillybilly redneck. I do enjoy reading your stuff,an thought I would put my two cents in. Hope you have a great weekend.

  26. Jeff Dykhuis says:

    Not that i disagree, not at all, great article, i just don’t ever want to get into an argument with you, blowjob or not.

  27. Incredible. This is the most impressive article on this prop8 nonsense I have ever seen. Outstanding. I just love your writing. I will be sending all my friends to this.

  28. What pisses me off about the Pro Prop 8 people is that the majority of them (not all, mind you, but I’d go as far as to say most) claim to be for SMALL GOVERNMENT. They forget that this applies to social issues, too. They don’t want the government taking their tax dollars or running their health care but it’s OK for them to control who can get married? Not one of their arguments against gay marriage makes any kind of logical sense whatsoever. This is the best written blog post I have ever seen on this topic, and I am retweeting it now. Thank you so much for writing it and for being so awesome. :)

  29. Yes, I want to join in too!

    Mr. Pugno, Fuck you!

  30. @Rachel – Damn. TWO blowjobs on the table. Mr. Pugno is probably jizzing his altar boy outfit as we speak.
    @Chris – More people should say “Fuck you, Mr. Pugno.” Right on.
    @Dennis – You’re going to get a shitload of wedding gifts (and most will probably be FABULOUS!)
    @Mari – I’ll save you a seat ;-)
    @Anonymous – Thank you for sharing your story. As you so graciously show, there isn’t just one note to that song of hope we sing here in the States. Yours is one of the many notes that makes it a pretty kickass song. If only Mr. Pugno would realize: he can’t carry a fucking tune.

  31. I’m not gay or even American, but I am strongly in favour of marriage equality, so you can tell Ass-hat Pugno that the offer has been raised to a two-person blowjob. (How far can we raise the stakes?)

  32. I think we’ve all witnessed some of that Redheaded Fury that has been bandying about on various sites.

    Thata Girl Erika! Flame him once for me baby!

  33. I am in awe.

    That is all!

  34. Dear Redhead, I knew you were just generalizing and I wasn’t commenting toward you at all. It’s just a sore subject with me so I borrowed a soap box from ya ;)
    luv ya! Luv ur writing! Keep kickin ass!

  35. “Mr. Pugno, Fuck You”

    I just wanted to say that too.

  36. Dominic Biondi says:

    Well said, and I whole-heartedly agree with everything Erika states here. Mr. Pugno and his ilk make me pissed-off and concerned for the children in this country. I hope to teach my step-son how all people, no matter their sexual orientation, can be wonderful parents. To actively pursue to deny people not like you the right to marry is morally reprehensible. Shame on anyone who does.

  37. I have two dads and two moms. My fiancee has three dads and just as many moms.

    Kate’s got her Master’s and I’m a successful eight-year veteran of the U.S. Army with six combat deployments.

    I guess we’re an anomaly.

  38. Yep…the reason hetero-marriage fails is the lack of accountability! You can do wantever you want and think are no consequences. And men are dicks! Get a clue, get a job and get a life. Women aren’t your doormats or free meal! Yes, we work, we have bigger brains than men, and we can cook. Gay marriage looks pretty good right now! Two smart, beautiful women who can cook (and probably change a tire)seams like a nice idea.

  39. Mari Kurisato says:

    You’re a sinner, and going to hell.

    See you there. :)

  40. Anonymous says:

    I am one of their three children. The oldest sibling is now a divorced career stripper (16 years so far) with 2 kids. The middle child is a bipolar social mess. The youngest child can’t keep a job and has been in and out of domestic abuse centers.

    Shortly after the youngest child left home, Dad kicked Mom out of the house and got caught with his neighbor’s 18 year old daughter. He ended up jail for propositioning a 14 year old girl on the Internet who turned out to be an FBI agent. This happened even before the divorce was final.

    Mom did a wonderful job bouncing back, and was re-married many years later to a strong gentleman who treats her the way that I believe my mother should be treated. Mom has told me that she has never been happier and more fulfilled. Today she glows with pride at the life that she has built for herself through the independence that she earned with the divorce. She is still paying off my father’s bad debt however.

    I could go on with this story for days, but I’ll spare your readers the headache. The point is that this story is true. It is a story of what happened when a couple stays together for an ideal of family that they have no business trying to accomplish. Their relationship stressed the fabric of our family and created a child-rearing pressure cooker that eventually exploded. The right-wing, Christian values I was raised with (at times on the business end of a leather belt) became lies, and the family strength that I believed in was as fragile as the paper it was written on.

    This is a great post Erika. I hope that more people begin to see the difference between content and context that you have described. Hopefully the idea of “doing it for the children” can be changed from an egotistical, face-saving forced relationship to a proactive separation of parents who understand that the stress of their relationship can cause serious, long lasting damage.

    Maybe… just maybe one day honest, loving same-sex couples can share the same rights and privileges as traditional families. Until then, always vote for progress.

  41. I couldn’t agree more. I’m a product of divorced parents and a blended family. My sisters and I have all thrived.

  42. Kevin – you’re welcome. It’s nice to hear from someone else who understands the content vs. context argument. There are no boxes anymore to “think outside of.” The best we can do is expand our horizons, I think, and encourage thought that challenges those who prefer to be sheep and encourage others to have the same short-sighted mentality.

  43. Thank you for writing this. It actually got me a little weepy eyed in a few spots (thinking about my own family) I’m in similar situation as you, parents divorced, lived with single working mom, except my dad was an alcoholic and barely ever around. I graduated high school in the top 5% of my class and I’m on a full scholarship to college right now. I think I turned out just fine and I can verify that the shape and make-up of my family had very little do to with how I turned out, no where near as important as the love my mom showed me my whole life.

    This whole argument just makes me sick! Thank you for standing up to people like that cretin.

  44. Erika Napoletano The Redhead says:

    Kath – thanks as always for reading and stopping by. And for sharing. We think it’s a great message. Or rather, I do, and I’m fortunate to have a team like ToyWithMe.com support my views/rants/passions/f-bombs.

  45. This??

    Will be retweeted, reposted, relinked all day.

    You?

    Awesome. And then some!

    xoxo

  46. Erika Napoletano The Redhead says:

    Jeanette – thanks for the kind words. I’m just glad I can write something that resonates with anyone and anything. And I appreciate the girl-crush!

  47. All kinds of fabulous and incredible. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have a crush on you right now:) You tied it all together, made me laugh, touched my heart and spoke the truth. Keep talking lady, you sure do it well.

    J.

  48. Thanks Woody – agreed :) I wasn’t purporting to know the finer details of all relationships, but rather use a cliche, one we hear too often, to make a case. There are always exceptions to the rule (and delightfully so!).

  49. Awesome post. I agree, stay out of the bedroom and loving parents are all that is needed. The comment I want to make is about the “staying married for the children.” That can mean so many things. And when I say it to my friends they shake their heads and say, “you have to be happy before you can raise your kids in happiness.” Well, bullshit. My situation is based on my childrens safety, the person who would step into my spot if I moved out would be a horrible parent. And that, I will not do to my children. All I ask is that people not assume that they know the details of rocky relationships. Staying out of the bedroom should be a rule for all who want to judge another persons/parents actions.