7.


On Friday, February 6, copies of this letter were sent to Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown (D) and Robert Portman (R), to spur change in the Midwestern state’s lead-footed approach to the legalization of gay marriage. Although slightly altered to accommodate the international scope of this particular platform, its intention is the same.

RE: The Legalization of Gay Marriage in the State of Ohio

Dear Senator,

My name is Daniel Hickey. I am a proud Daytonian who resides in Chicago currently, where my sensibilities have inspired me to put pen to paper and author books filled with others’ narratives.  My first work, American Maitre d’, is a storybook of tales told by many working in a handful of my city’s oldest restaurants. My second title, Cybill Union, will be filled with the memories of same-sexed couples whose lives together span decades. In fact, it is because of my experience with the latter subject that I felt it imperative to contact your office.

Still Alice, Lisa Genova’s novel about a middle-aged mother diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, sounded the alert. It shows the degeneration of a woman’s memory from a point of mere lapse to full-on infancy. And although I’ve little to Dear_Mr__Presidentno firsthand experience with anyone afflicted with such a devastating illness, I certainly feel compassion for those suffering and their families.

Considering it in relation to the aging population that is the subject of my current literary endeavor, I began to clearly realize that select numbers of gay men and women have watched loved ones disappear behind such thieving veils of sickness too. They have nursed them, kept them company, read to them, and talked with them while being stared at blankly, unrecognized. Unfairly, what many of these loved ones may not have is the pleasure and security of betrothal to the person that’s disappearing while lying across from them. With only 72% of American states legally permitting gays to marry, they are neither spouses, civilly united couples, nor governmentally recognized pairs. Even if wed in a separate state beforehand, their statuses cannot be borne from state-to-state in the same fashion as heterosexual counterparts can after celebrating themselves with destination weddings. And although the institution of marriage is a religious rite and considerably sacramental, is it not disrespectful, even immoral, to not recognize their lifelong allegiance to each other?

Being my childhood home, Ohio shaped me into the man I’ve become. As the grandson of a farmer in Ansonia, I spent summer days on his land with relatives, plucking the feathers from enough butchered chickens to feed the family through the season. As a Kettering Fairmont graduate, I successfully participated in orchestral and speech-oriented associations, earning state-level recognition for my dedication to music and dramatic interpretation. And as a Catholic confirmed in Saint Charles Borromeo Church- which is where I first felt the Holy Spirit stir within me, incidentally- I learned The Way to function both ethically and morally, with full comprehension of the blessed sacrament of marriage. And it is with great respect to the beliefs and lifestyles of the Ohio populace that I reach out to you to create a bill that respects as equal the wishes of those whose loves are same-sexed, so that, one day, their union can be recognized  in their home state, their cities, and in their own homes.

Respectfully,

Daniel Hickey

Author, American Maitre d’, Cybill Union

Photography Credit:

Stanton Peele, “My Application Letter to be America’s Drug Czar,” Substance.com Website, 10/8/14. Access Date 2/9/15 http://www.substance.com/my-application-letter-to-be-americas-drug-czar/13624/

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