That’s a quote today from Illinois State Rep. Will Davis, D-Homewood, regarding sexual orientation. It comes from a Chicago Tribune story (“Black lawmakers may hold key on gay marriage in Illinois”) that I’m unable to link to, but it caught my attention. Davis claims to be undecided on the subject of marriage equality, though his quote seems to indicate he’s against it. However, taking him at his word that he’s truly undecided, I wrote him a letter in the hope that all he needs is a new perspective. If you feel so inclined, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I read your quotes in the Chicago Tribune today regarding marriage equality in Illinois. I agree with you that there are many pressing issues facing both the legislature and the African-American community. However, that doesn’t mean that marriage equality isn’t important to the many couples and families who are denied basic rights that you and your family enjoy.
This quote of yours regarding sexual preference jumped out at me: “In my opinion, it’s still a choice.” I would ask, when did you decide to be straight? Your biography says you’re happily married with children. Congratulations; I’m glad to hear it. But unless you can point to a time in your life when you pondered various sexual preferences and “decided” to be heterosexual, I would urge you to consider that sexual orientation is an inherent, immutable part of each human being. Unless you think that tomorrow you could “decide” to be gay, please don’t say you think gay people could “decide” to be straight. If you have not already, I suggest you look at studies that have been done on so-called “gay conversion therapies,” their failure rates and the incredible harm they do.
In conclusion, I understand this is a difficult issue for you. Please remember that although you may have religious objections to marriage equality, gay couples and families are not asking to be married in your church or any other; they just want — and deserve — equal treatment under the law. They are just asking that the government recognize the love and commitment they have to each other. That is not different from what you have with your wife. Thank you for having an open mind.