Box Turtle Reader Writes

Timothy Kincaid

October 27th, 2008

Ben in Oakland is a frequent commenter here on the Box Turtle Bulletin. He has also taken the time to pen a very compelling personal argument against Proposition 8. It is printed today in the Eureka Reporter:

We’re not a threat to anyone or anything. Nor is our marriage. We’re just Ben and Paul. And we want to stay married.

Ben doesn’t argue about schools or churches or the falsity of Yes on 8’s latest wacky claim. He talks about his life and his marriage and what it means to him and his family.

Gay people and straight people are pretty much alike, including such matters as romance, family, marriage and religion. And why shouldn’t we be? We’re your relatives and friends. We’re you. Are we not human enough, not citizens enough, to grant us the right to marry? We want for us and our families exactly what you get from our government: the same respect and equality before the law that you demand for yourselves. That’s it. Our lives and families are as valuable as yours. You don’t have to approve of gay people or be a part of our lives. We aren’t attacking your families, faith or civil rights, nor preventing them from being legally protected. Can you say the same about yourselves?

We want to take nothing from you. We want only the same rights and protections that you have. Nothing more — and nothing less.

There are dozens and dozens of newspapers across this state. And a well written opinion – or even a letter to the editor that appeals to the reader in a personal way – can make a difference in a vote. And often papers, especially local or smaller circulation papers, are happy to include a thought provoking piece that they don’t have to fit into a deadline.

Ben has very generously offered to let our other readers steal his work or take what they can use if they will only help spread the message. Please consider if you can either write your own letter – or borrow Ben’s – and help change a heart and mind.


October 27th, 2008

Great work, Ben. Thank you. I’m oneof many who have been phone banking, demonstrating, handing out fliers and donating – and we won’t stop until we win. We all deserve that simple equality that you so eloquently describe.

-Tara The Antisocial Social Worker


October 27th, 2008

Very good! I’ve been trying to get an op-ed on the matter published as well, but I suspect I don’t have a lot of clout with editors, being a New Yorker.


October 27th, 2008

Awesome letter, Ben! It moved me to tears and after I was done reading, it moved me to TAKE ACTION!

For the sake of my marriage, to the only man I have ever loved for the past 12 years, and for the sake of every single same-gender marriage performed since it became legal in California!

I will make another money sacrifice and contact all of my friends and family in California, again, and remind them to vote “NO” on Prop. 8!

California – Vote “NO” on Prop. 8!
Arizona – Vote “NO” on Prop. 102! AGAIN!
Florida – Vote “NO” on Amendment 2!
Connecticut – Vote “NO” on Question 1!

Ben in Oakland

October 28th, 2008

Thanks all.


October 28th, 2008

“We aren’t attacking your families, faith or civil rights, nor preventing them from being legally protected. Can you say the same about yourselves?”


El Rose

October 28th, 2008

No, you’re not just like us. YOu are 2 men or 2 women who want to be given the same rights and privledges as heterosexuals but you are not heterosexuals. YOu do not share the same bodies nor do you share the same ideas of monogomy. YOu are free to love whomever you want, but you are not free to marry whomever you want.

TJ McFisty

October 28th, 2008

Wow! Offensive, self-aggrandizing, and wrong all the in the same comment! That’s truly worthy of some prize.

I’m really surprised heterosexuals suddenly got this lock on monogamy–when’d that happen, and hets also suddenly established that as the exclusive claim to marriage. Guess that teevee show about Het Swinging is 100% whole cloth fabrication.

And what does “do not share same bodies” mean?

I wouldn’t get hung up on similarities being exclusive locks on marriage…millions of dollars have been made on books written about dissimilarities. By your statements about “having the same ____” men and women shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

I mean, at least I can share my partner’s clothing and not feel ill-fittingly uncomfortable. We’re similar in body type. That much is the same…can we get married, now, and when do we get to vote on yours?

Ben in Oakland

October 28th, 2008

el rose: “YOu are 2 men or 2 women who want to be given the same rights and privledges as heterosexuals but you are not heterosexuals. ”

thanks for clairfying. It is truly all aobut prejudice for you, isn’t it? “You just want the same rights and privileges as (white people) (Christians)(English speakers)(Men)… but you’re not blah blahblah.

It’s all about the myth of heterosexual superiority in service to the reality of heterosexual privilege to enforce the myth of heterosexual hegemony.

honey, you’re just heterosexual. you’re not special. You’re not normal, just common.

A common heterosexual, a common bigot.

Maybe someday you’ll look yourslef in the mirror and wonder why you ever thought that hating a whole group of people you don’t know and know nothing about qualifies you as a decent human being.


October 28th, 2008

El Rose wrote:

…nor do you share the same ideas of monogomy.

First off, you misspelled “monogamy”. Sorry, blame my honors English teacher. And English wasn’t even my FIRST language! DOH!

As far as I knew, there is and always has been only 1 definition for “monogamy”. Unless something has changed or us “gays” are supposed to use an alternate dictionary, my definition for “monogamy” is the following:

The practice of having sex with only one partner.

For this example, I used the definition from WebMD one of the world’s most popular medical websites.

Hmm, their definition for “monogamy” is exactly what I thought “monogamy” meant as well.

So, let’s apply this “definition” to a real world example.

My “husband” and I have been married for the past 12 years in our hearts and “legally” in California for the past 4 months.

In the past 12 years, I have ONLY had sex with ONE person, my beloved.

In the past 12 years, my beloved has ONLY had sex with ONE person, me.

This certainly seems to qualify as “monogamy” to me.

And you get to vote on whether or not I deserve to get “civil” rights under the eyes of the law of the State of California?!

“Beam me up, Scotty!”

California – Vote “NO” on Prop. 8!
Arizona – Vote “NO” on Prop. 102! AGAIN!
Florida – Vote “NO” on Amendment 2!
Connecticut – Vote “NO” on Question 1!


October 28th, 2008

Thanks for the letter and the inspiration Ben. I’ve written to my home town’s paper hoping to follow suit :-)

Ben in Oakland

October 28th, 2008

You’re welcome. We must all do what we can. The LA News is going to publish it as well. I sure hope a few others follow suit. It was a lot of work getting this written ando ut to 30 newspapers across the state.


October 29th, 2008

Beautiful, Ben. If I write ten million more words on marriage, I’ll never say as much as you have in single letter, and certainly never approach your eloquence.

Ben in Oakland

October 29th, 2008

thanks, sappho.

Ben in Oakland

October 29th, 2008

Meanwhile– yoo-hoo, el rose!! Are you here?


October 29th, 2008

GOOD LUCK, BEN !! What a WONDERFULL letter, it also, as it has other readers,brought a tear to my TRUE for ALL of “us’ . Best Regards,Best Wishes, and good luck, to you, now ,and ALWAYS. Cody J

Ben in Oakland

October 29th, 2008

Thanks, cody. Please feel free to use it however you can.

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