A heartfelt letter from a gay man begging his Republican father to not vote for US presidential candidate Mitt Romney has gone viral.
Posted on Reddit yesterday (9 August), the author Francophile44 pleads with his father to not vote Republican because of Romney’s conservative stance on gay rights and marriage equality.
He says: ‘Since coming out to you and mom 19 years ago, I’ve watched you vote for the Republican candidates in every major race.
‘Save for the occasional mealtime argument or sarcastic Fox News barb, I’ve held my tongue, despite the hurt and anger that came from watching you vote for a party that has made a sport out of demonizing gay and lesbian people, like me, for political gain.’
Francophile44 says when Obama became the first sitting president to back marriage equality, the argument changed.
He continues: ‘Four months ago, I sat at my younger brother’s wedding and watched you well up, speaking publicly with pride for the man he’s become and the woman he chose.
‘His life, though certain to have unexpected turns ahead, has a clear path, one available to him simply because of his sexual orientation at birth.
The Reddit user, who is nearly 40, says being gay sometimes feels like being a salmon swimming upstream’, adding same-sex relationships are not supported yet by institution or tradition.
But the resilience of the gay community inspired him to think twice before underestimating the will of the ‘human spirit in its slow march toward progress, whatever the circumstances.’
At the end of the letter, he says: ‘In any other election, given any other choice, I’d stay quiet. If you, and others like you, wanted to believe the worst about Obama – a good man, trying to do good work – and vote against your interests (Romney’s tax and Medicare plans won’t help you), I’d shake my head in wonder and watch you do it anyway.
‘But this isn’t any other election. This election presents a clear choice between two people whose policy beliefs directly affect the course of my life. Let me be clear: A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote against me. There is no argument to counter that fact.’
‘Will I change your mind? I hope so,’ he adds. ‘I’m sure Mom would tell me it’s a lost cause. And maybe she’s right. But that would be sad. Because it might be nice to one day have my father stand up at my wedding, realizing he helped make it happen.’
His dad responded, and said in part: ‘I will honor your request because you are my son and I love you.
‘I do support the democratic position on gay marriage...I hope this is a position that they really stand for and not just a political statement for votes.’