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One-Issue Voter, Really? Regarding My "Relentless Posts"

Perhaps your tired of seeing me relentlessly posting my opinions on this election too??  Perhaps you too think I'm a "one-issue" voter.  Well, just so we're clear, I'm not.  Below is an email exchange precipitated by my most recent status post on Facebook:

Neighbor:  Greg,

I am writing this email because I hope it can give you comfort in the upcoming elections no matter who is voted into office. I am tired of seeing you relentlessly post on how un-informed anyone is who supports Romney, and how they are just wrong and attacking your rights.

First of all I do not like Romney, nor do I like Obama. And I agree completely with that huffington post article that you posted, and with that said I am an avid supporter of gay rights, so I think you can get a grasp of which lesser of two evils I will be voting for.

I feel like you should be criticizing both Presidents equally. Maybe you have short-term memory loss, but Obama has not always been a supporter of Gay marriage, it was only recently (May?) that he announced his support, convieniently after the drama that unfolded in North Carolina, could there be a more perfect time to change a stance with the electoral primaries at full steam?

This is what I hope you can find comfort in, Greg. A president has a good deal of power on many, most of which is to get the public thinking about these issues, talking, and being a cheerleader. There are many ways to Damascus--to borrow a phrase. This (Gay Marriage/rights) is not something that can be decided by executive order.

You know very well I am in total support of gay rights, but something people need to realize is that this is going to be a state level issue that will go up to the courts and involve the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution at the Supreme Court Level. Check out what happened in Cali as a guide.

So instead of barking at the Romney campaign, I suggest you start looking more into state politics. You are a constituent and have every right to voice your opinions to a person who wants your vote, because all in all it will be Senators who get you the rights that you want.

I don't mean this email to be mocking your or to offend you in any way, I just want to give you comfort in the fact that if Romney is elected, the world will not end, and on a side note, if Obama is re-elected, the current situation does not seem like it will change. Look at the debates, Gay marriage has been completely ignored and kicked off to the side with other topics like death-penalty repeal, marijuana legalization and assisted suicide. It was just mentioned at the very begininning so they could get their single issue voters.

I just hope this can expand your horizon beyond Gay marriage and you can look at other policies of the candidates, taking you away from being a single-issue voter. It's double standards, you criticize those who vote for Romney solely because they don't want Gay marriage (un-informed), while giving support to those who vote for Obama solely because they THINK he can legalize gay-marriage (un-informed).

I hope Greg and Mason are doing well. See you around Thanksgiving.

Greg Gerrans  Thank you neighbor. It goes beyond the “gay” marriage thing and it’s not just "gay" marriage that has sealed the deal for me. I do not believe that Obama switching his view on equality was a political move in the least. As a father of a child close to the age of the President’s--I can see (as he indicated) that he was swayed largely in part by his family--sitting around the dinner table, having a frank discussion on the subject. I don't know if you recall, prior to the GOP nomination this issue of "gay" marriage (hate that term) was all over the place.

If you're tired of seeing my posts—you have options. Thanks!

Neighbor  I just don't want you thinking you will have to move to Canada if Romney is somehow elected, we enjoy you being our neighbor.

I honestly think you should initiate a ballot initiative to change the law in Michigan.

Just some closing food for thought to keep things fun and objective, Bain Capital (where Romney worked) has some of the most liberally generous benefits policies for those who have same-sex lovers. In Romney's position, he could have changed that if he wished, but his detractors choose to ignore that. Keeping in mind also that Romney was elected governor by one of the most liberal states in the nation... most likely with many gays voting for him.

Greg Gerrans  Thanks again, neighbor, for all the insight. That's such a relief knowing i will not have to give up my career and relocate my family to Canada. And I don't like the term lover either. Just saying.

Neighbor  My apologies.

Greg Gerrans  I’m writing this response to your comments and email. First of all I’d like to point out a big distinction: my posts on my Facebook wall differ from your pointed responses directed at me. This leads me to believe you don’t know how Facebook works nor understand people use social media in several ways for different purposes. This surprises me, someone of your age not knowing this stuff. You state in your email, “I am tired of seeing you relentlessly post on how un-informed anyone is…”. Again, my response to this is that you have options. You can 1) choose to ignore—the last time I checked, I still had the right to free speech (again see my first point above); 2) You can hide my posts so you don’t have to see them again in your newsfeed; or, 3) You can un-friend me.

I must admit I’m surprised and somewhat flattered that a twenty-some year old, college student takes time out of his day to send his forty-some year old neighbor notes and love letters. I’m sure we could go back and forth now, through the election and beyond but I haven’t the least bit of interest in doing so nor do I have the time. I do appreciate your avid support of my “gay” rights but I have to tell you that your claim that you are somehow more informed than I am on what does or doesn’t affect me personally and my family makes me laugh. The fact that you use terms like “gay” rights, “gay” marriage, and same-sex “lovers,” lets me know exactly how informed you are.

Please know I haven’t any short-term memory loss yet—that I’m aware of—but then again, age is creeping up on me and I am a little slower than I used to be. I can recall that the President has not always been a supporter of marriage equality. As stated earlier I believe Obama when he addressed his change of opinion, saying that it came about after dinner conversation(s) with his family, his girls. I can relate to that, it’s believable and sincere. I can also understand how one might misconstrue this to be a political stunt; I don’t believe it was at all.

Neighbor, I must admit (the age thing again) it’s been quite a few years since I’ve had lessons in civics but I still have retained enough of the basics to understand how our government works, and the authority our President and Congress have. In my twenty-some year career and years of service, I’ve been through enough changes in Administration to retain some of the basics.

With respect to “gay” rights, which a majority of popular-progressive, thinking people correctly refer to as civil and equal rights, I think you ought to do some more brushing up on the Equal Protection Clause and the following: 1) what’s happening with state constitutions throughout the country as they relate to LGBT protections and civil liberties (start with Michigan), 2) DOMA (yes, I know it was the Democratic President Clinton that signed this into law), 3) DADT policy (again Clinton), and most particularly 4) the Prop 8 case in Cali—but it is clear by your email you haven’t all the pieces of information. Please look into how and by whom the initiative was supported, i.e., the Mormon Church. – I would urge you not to simply look at Wikipedia as your only source. It is all these things collectively that give me the most concern over this vital election. There are things that are in play that Romney has come out and spoken against—he speaks his personal ideologies based on his Mormon faith and in many instances puts this first and foremost. It’s his personal track record in this area that is the most concerning to me and the most revealing of his character. It is darn right scary. You don’t get it—you haven’t ANYTHING to lose or gain personally.

I want to state for the record, I am not a “one-issue” voter. I have, although it’s difficult for me to admit, voted for a Republican in the past based on deceptive campaigns and have also felt the burn and disappointment from elected Democrats for whom I’ve casted my vote at the ballot box. I am much older and wiser. There are other issues that I have strong opinions on that help shape who I vote for, e.g., education and access to education is a big one for me—fyi, the U.S. Department of Education became a cabinet-level department back in 1980 and I’ve worked in the Department for over 20 years. We’ve fallen so far behind on many educational fronts compared with other countries across the globe. Take a look at what is happening on the global stage, other countries have gotten this right years ago—education is the key to our future. Oh, some of these same countries understand and get global warming too. Just saying.

My intent is not to mock YOU or offend YOU with this email, I just want to give you comfort that there is a little depth to your quiet, somewhat introverted, neighbor. If you pick up on a little cattiness, I plead the gay thing and remember you engaged with me directly. I hope this will be the end of this; this can be perceived as a form of personal harassment. I suggest you practice your political debate skills with friends your own age and in person. I do think your a decent, good kid but your a bit misguided and misdirected.

Perhaps we’ll see you when you come home for Thanksgiving.

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