We just got an email from Queerty reader Chad Eldred of Minnesota, who forwarded us a letter he sent to State Senator Amy Koch (R-Buffalo), a staunch enemy of marriage equality. Why’d he bother to write Koch, when gay-marriage foes are a dime a dozen? Well, as we reported in December, Koch stepped down as the state’s Senate Majority Leader when her adulterous affair with a male staffer became public.
Ironically, Koch (right) asked the public to respect her family’s privacy—something she failed to do when she helped put a gay-marriage ban proposition on the ballot this coming November.
Here’s Eldred’s missive. We can only hope Koch reads it (or, y’know, has someone spell out the big words for her).
While I’ve come to learn that you view me, your fellow Minnesotan, as a second-class citizen undeserving of the same rights you yourself have taken for granted, I still wanted to take a brief moment to tell you my story.
Perhaps you’ll disregard this message, or more likely than not, you’ll never even take the time to read it, but on the miniscule chance you will, I impart to you the following:
Growing up gay, I learned quickly what forms of relationships are accepted and realized early on that two boys falling in love was simply not an option. Despite being blessed with loving and supportive friends and family, I still struggled with learning to be OK with myself. And when a car full of guys, in broad daylight and in full public view, roll down their windows as you walk by and yell, “You f*cking fag. We’ll f*cking kill you,” you sincerely start to question your own worth as a person.
But my story is really no different than the thousands of other gays and lesbians who you share this great state with. And this isn’t meant to be a sob story, either. Fact is, I’ve probably had it easier than most, actually.
I met my current partner almost a year and a half ago, and I’m happy to tell you we’ve been inseparable ever since. We recently moved into an apartment together (I can show it to you sometime if you like), and adopted a puppy from a local rescue organization. She’s the cutest Border terrier mix you’ll ever meet. Her name is Bri.
We spend most of our nights at home catching up on our favorite shows, playing with our puppy, organizing the apartment or otherwise engaging in a slew of other mundane life activities. To be sure, we’re probably not so different from yourself.
And just as you pleaded with the media after your affair to leave you and your family in peace, my partner and I also wanted nothing more than to enjoy our private lives in peace, surrounded by our loving friends and family. Ironically enough, though, Amy, you’ve now made that impossible for us.
You see, that same privacy you so desperately sought for yourself after you selfishly destroyed your own marriage has been ripped from our lives, not by our own doing mind you, but by yet another one of your misguided decisions. Come November, you and your legislative colleagues have invited the entire state of Minnesota to take a public vote on the validity of not only my relationship, but the relationships of thousands of your fellow Minnesotans.
In a post-affair interview with WCCO, you had this to say about your support for the anti-gay marriage amendment. “The marriage amendment is a question the people of Minnesota will decide. It’s not about any one relationship at all.”
You’re right, Amy. This amendment isn’t about one relationship. It’s about thousands of them, including my own. And while I assuredly know I could have counted on your support to pass a bill this coming legislative session to let the people of Minnesota vote on banning adulterers such as yourself, hellbent as you are on destroying the sanctity of marriage, from having the right to get and/or stay married, I won’t ask you to do that.
In fact, I’m not asking you to do anything except to listen to, and respond to, stories like mine. Perhaps had you taken the time from the beginning to listen to our stories you would have realized the evil that is the ballot initiative you supported.
Perhaps you also would have realized the sad, sad irony behind you asking for your marriage and private life to be kept private, while at the same time subjugating thousands of other people’s private lives to a public referendum.
In a juicy little twist, Michael Brodkorb, Koch’s axed communications director and the man implicated in the affair, is threatening to name other staffers who have had similar liaisons with Minnesota politicos. Oh Michael, please do. You’d make our year!