My mother brought me up to write my thank you notes on Crane's Informal Notes with good penmanship -- but in this case I'm hoping a blog post will suffice to extend to you my deep appreciation, profound thanks and tremendous gratitude.
I am not sure you can appreciate just what a gift it is to have the extraordinarily well-publicized news of the end of your hysterically hyped marriage come the very week our congressional leaders are set to begin debating the Respect for Marriage Act on Capitol Hill.
Seriously. As a marriage equality activist, I cannot thank you enough for your gift of the stunning example of how the gender of the couple saying "I do" clearly has absolutely nothing to do with respect for the institution of marriage. It is a gift -- I promise you -- that will keep on giving.
As we continue to work for family values that value all families and a protect-marriage movement that protects all marriages, we will have your example to add to Britney Spears' 55-hour marriage, Larry King's eight marriages and Newt Gingrich's three (just to name a few) as proof positive that marriage needs protection, all right -- but not from gay and lesbian couples who want to pledge to live together until death do them part.
We will have another great example to contrast to those couples building lives, families and a future without the 1,138 federally protected rights that you and Kris Humphries enjoyed for the 72 days you were married to each other, rights like social security, inheritance, taxation, hospital visitation and immigration status, just to name a few.
We will have another opportunity to talk about the values that make up a marriage; values that transcend the gender and sexual orientation of the couple; values like fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and love; the values that we in the Episcopal Church have held up as the standards we hold for relationships blessed by our church.
And it will give me the chance to talk about the marriages I know about that actually embody all those traditional values that were so utterly lacking in your $10-million nuptial debacle, like Alec and Jamie, gay men who have been together for 10 years, married since 2008, new parents to a 5-year-old son adopted out of the foster care system, a son they are raising in a stable, loving home, bringing him to Sunday School every Sunday, and teaching him to write thank-you notes on Crane's Informal Notes with good penmanship.
So thank you again, Kim. As we work without ceasing to secure for Alec and Jamie and their family the rights you and Kris threw away after 72 days of marriage, I hope you will know how deeply grateful we are for the "on a silver platter" gift you gave us this week as we head into Senate judiciary hearings on the Respect for Marriage Act and look ahead to the repeal of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act). Honestly, we just can't thank you enough.
The Reverend Canon Susan Russell
All Saints Church, Pasadena
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