Robert Ganshorn

My Open Letter to Florida and California Republicans

Filed By Robert Ganshorn | October 16, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: California, federal marriage amendment, Florida Amendment 2, funny stories, marraige equality

My good friend and neighbor in Florida Robert Moreno sent me this fantastic video.

Bob emigrated from South America and became a banker after college. He traveled extensively to all parts of the Spanish speaking world to facilitate business opportunities in Latin America - bringing prosperity to many who had been without it. He is a happy family man and grandfather with successful children and was president of our homeowners association in Florida. He is a Republican and this is what I have to say to him:

Dear Bob,

This video left me in stitches and reminds me that so many times in the process of an election we forget to keep all things in perspective and take a moment to be grateful for the wonderful gifts we have and the opportunity to laugh at ourselves. I know that, to you, voting is a particular gift. You grew up in a dictatorship where people could disappear, if they disagreed, and half of native-born Americans don't even exercise their precious gift of voting. They take their freedom and opportunity for granted and that is an American national disgrace.

So, while it would never cross my mind to suggest which party you should vote for I do ask that you consider, carefully, the propositions on the Florida Ballot. As you know me as, I hope, a good neighbor; we worked side by side through the aftermath of hurricanes helping our neighbors with chain saws and brute strength to recover following the storms. Nothing made me happier than to help you and our neighbors until exhaustion during that disaster.

This is what I would like to say. If you vote yes on Proposition 2 in Florida you are stating that I am a second class citizen of America. You are saying that I have fewer rights to care for, and make medical decisions for, my partner than your wife has for you or you have for her.

Religious fundamentalists have attempted to scare the bejesus out of ordinarily fair minded people suggesting that equality for one group is a cost to another. You, better than most, know what this is about as I know that you endured discrimination for being Hispanic when you came to America. But you overcame it because it was only an ignorant attitude and so is this one. Unfortunately this ignorant attitude is still enshrined in law.

I would be the last person in the world to go to a chapel and mimic a "wedding" because it is not my style nor my partner's style. I would choose to have a civil non-religious ceremony that gave me an absolute ability to make decisions for him just as your wife and partner has for you. As you know, my partner suffers from dementia and this single factor was the greatest reason I felt it necessary to leave the United States. When I went with him to the doctor in America, I had no weight in assisting to manage his care. Social Security does not recognize that I have any inherent rights whatsoever to help him. That, dear neighbor, is my disappointment with my country.

I, and many millions of mature Americans from coast to coast are in similar situations because we cannot form legally binding domestic partnerships with full recognition.

That is why I ask you to vote "no" on Proposition 2. California has a challenge to it's legalization of "marriage" and Florida is attempting to define marriage for us all. As a good Republican, I would expect you to want to tell the government to mind it's own damn business. Please, share this with all Republicans you know. I do not desire "special rights," but simply rights equal to what you can afford to take for granted my friend.

I am proud to know you Bob!

Robert Ganshorn

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Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 16, 2008 2:02 PM

And every other state in the union and every heart in every other country in the world.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 16, 2008 11:43 PM

I have sent Jim my private note expressing my apologies and further I regret that the *subject* of my post has been overwhelmed by strident "correctness."

My partner, my personal hero, my anger at the discovery that caring for him is easier here than in the country he served in uniform for thirteen years, is a blinding light of anger for me. Evidently it also temporarily blinded me to remembering John McCain's home state.

And while I do apologize to the many, who work with no recognition, and little thanks, in that state. People who need and deserve every encouragement this message to Republicans of all stripes is hardly about a single state one way or another, but a mind set of inclusive values of a country that recognizes the worth of all it's citizens.

I thank you all and wish you every future success.

Why did you need to clarify that your wedding would not "mimic" his? And why is it that gays are the ones who "mimic", and not the other way around? Assumptions about who's "the woman" in bed are made by heterosexuals all the time; and yet, do they never stop to think that it can easily be turned around into "who's the bottom" for their relationship? Don't give them ownership over actions.

Anyways, good attempt at persuasion. While a majority of Cubans are against equality, you do manage to find the precious gems like Ileana.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | October 17, 2008 4:32 AM

1. As indicated, it is not my style. If that is not good enough for you, too bad. I get to live my own life too.

2. Please tell me where in South America Cuba is located?

3. Thank you for confirming my suspicions that some folks will do anything to shoot themselves in the foot.

Good Bye and good luck. Thank you for totally missing the point of the posting. IT IS ABOUT SENIOR HEALTH CARE.

1- Curious, you seem adamant about living your truth, and yet you have to explain it to someone you're making an appeal to. Again, why is your style of wedding relevant in the letter? Would it make a difference if you revealed your style to be another way?

2- I'm going by the assumption of Cuban because that's the demographic that is Republican culturally that are voting for Prop 2 in droves. You specified South America for its business ventures, not as a hint of his nationality. Guess what? My Cuban father also engaged in business ventures to all of South America. That does not make him a nationality other than Cuban, though.

3- You don't need me for that; you only need to look at the mirror. Rash reactions seem to be your M.O.

In closing, internet yelling does not show you in the light you imagine yourself in. While You're arguing senior healthcare, your emphasis lies on persuading this friend to vote NO on a proposition that seeks to define marriage. God forbid the institution of marriage under a civil context does not already imply senior healthcare.

For someone who apparently advocates that we take a pause and take it easy, you seem quite volatile yourself should someone express curiosity as to the choice of words in your posts. Try to walk the walk, and not just do the talk. I wasn't attacking your style of wedding, by the way; you may now pull that stick our of your ass.

Robert Ganshorn | October 18, 2008 5:12 AM

OK Lucrece, you win. I write about my partner of 32 years suffering from dementia and I have to handle someone pointing out that I (horrible me) neglected to mention Arizona. Odd no one thinks to blame the editor for that, but oh well, I am not one of the cool kids.

You picked "mimic" and I will tell you that I find relationships to be the reality and "marriage" to be the illusion. As this is my last posting for Bilerico I wish to tell you that I have learned much from younger persons like yourself, but I am more than through apologizing to play in your sand box.

That's quite OK; you can spend your time having tantrums at the nursing home; perhaps you just need a change of diapers to get you out of this anally-retentive mood.

Robert Ganshorn | October 22, 2008 10:59 AM

Lucrece, I am 55 years old, (I suppose you consider that real old, but you would not like to meet this man in a street fight) my partner of 32 years will never spend a day in a nursing home despite his 79 years and the inconvenience for you to consider him an equal human being to young little you. I do "pause and take it easy" because caring for someone necessitates respite from constant worry. I blame this post on myself.

It is neither Bil or Alex's fault that I went privately ballistic. I should have never written about anything I care about when it is easier to show beefcake or an embarrassing shot of Paris Hilton's private parts. But, I did learn, and that has value in itself.

Having finished a BA in two years nine months, a Masters in a year and president of my own start up company at 26 I have been considered a "wunderkin,' but retiring at 49 to care for my partner is the greatest reward of my life.