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Sunday, October 21, 2012

We Needed You to Know

Dearest family and friends,

I promise this is the only time I will ever write you a letter like this. In fact, I am only brave enough to share these thoughts with you because I know you care. I know you care about both of us - my beloved Melinda and me. The mutual respect we share has provided the courage needed to share these words with you.

To begin, I am not asking anything from you. If your understanding and support is offered it will be a blessing I could never have asked for. For true understanding is a gift. In this case it would carry a significance and meaning that is life-changing.

We live in a country where freedom and individual rights are not like privileges which can be given or taken away.  They are written into our Constitution and the laws which govern us. Generation after generation of brave men and women have fought to protect these rights and freedoms including both of my grandfathers. We honor them every time we exercise the rights we have as US citizens, and each time we protect the individual rights and freedoms of our people.

Although our country hasn’t always gotten it right byway of civil rights and liberties I believe that we strive to. New generations come along and demand more equality for our people. Freedom and individual rights are what we stand. That is why this is a sacred land and a place I am so proud to be from.   

The thing is, today, right now, Melinda and I are still being denied our rights as US citizens. We are not full citizens under the law. We would never ask for special rights but we want the rights you already have. The legal right to marry is actually only one of hundreds of legal rights we are being denied because we love each other. We are tax paying citizens under the same laws as you just with different treatment of them. This is contrary to everything I know about our country.

Although a Presidential election is so much bigger than any one issue the bottom line is this election is about our civil rights; which makes all others issues a far second. Regardless of the collective choice for President, on November 7th, you will still have your rights. However one of the nominees for President has promised he will continue to deny us our rights.

Not only has he promised to choose a Attorney General who will spend millions of US tax dollars to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, he has promised to forge a campaign to Amend the Constitution of the United States to permanently deny Melinda and I the nearly 1,300 tax and legal rights that come with marriage and our ability to take care of each other. Our ability to take care of our children. Our rights to be treated fairly and equally under the law. What is more American than that?

I know the value of your vote. I respect your choice. It is solely yours. But, because you care about us, I felt compelled to share that if the next President believes Melinda and I should be denied our rights as US citizens than chances are so will the one or two Supreme Court Justices he selects. That makes this election about far more than four years. It makes it about the rest of our lives. It means this election will determine whether or not our children will ever get to see their parents have the rights of full US citizens.

I know voting for Romney may be a vote for many things you believe in. He may represent things you want for the next four years. I respect that. But a vote for Romney is also a vote against us and our rights. I wish this wasn’t his position but it is. And, we needed you to know.

With love,

Alexa Benson-Valavanis  

1 comment:

  1. Immensely deep tears of love. You won't be surprised to know that I am voting with you, as I share most likely many of your values including that of our equal rights to marry who we want to. And I respect your powerful courage to share this truth with your diverse community, within the array of beliefs Americans hold, knowing what you wrote to us about will land in a variety of ways, and in some cases will not lead to a vote for your President of choice. What I want to say to you as the gorgeously generous human being I know you to be, is thatI believe we are entering a time when the "power" we have given certain institutions and systems we've co-created, is falling away. We are coming to recognize -- soon -- that Love is the only power. And more deeply than that, it is who we are. I stand in reverence with you, dear friend. Your love impacts me powerfully.


then there were six

then there were six

Cheese of Mac & Cheese along side Roger the Rooster