Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Open Letter of Invitation to Nathan and Sandra Deal, and Karen and Steve Handel to Dinner in the Home of a Gay Georgia Couple

So I'm turning over this post to Volunteer dad. He has an invitation for two politicians in our state, and he wants to share with my readers and fans his letter that he'll submit to the Atlanta Journal Constitution this evening. Take it away dad!!

As I began to craft this letter, my rationale was anger. I wanted to take fierce opposition to Nathan Deal’s campaign attacks on gay Georgians, and most notably gay teenagers.

Instead, I decided the anger tactic has been done with little or no success. So, I erased countless paragraphs that told of gay and lesbian suicide rates 2.5 times higher than straight teenagers. I erased comments on the wonderful services Youth Pride provides to teenagers in need of support as they struggle to understand their sexuality. I erased the multiple paragraphs that told of the sad fact that many gay and lesbian teenagers have been abandoned by their families. And I erased the countless proof points of why gay and lesbian Americans should be celebrated for their contributions to business and community. I could debate Mr. Deal and Mrs. Handel for hours on the need for gay youth support programs, the important role gay and lesbian taxpayers play in our society and why our family deserves the same rights and protections as their families.

I decided I would make a public invitation to the Deal and Handel families to spend an evening at my home in Atlanta – with my partner Steve and our two wonderful rescue pups Arlie Rufus and Foster (a family similar to Mrs. Handel’s). My family welcomes the Deal and Handel families to meet us; talk to us as constituents; learn how we contribute to society as successful businessmen and community activists; hear our concerns for the many challenges facing our city, state and country; get to know us personally and learn of our Christian upbringings. You get it; normal, regular conversations – one more thing straights and gays have in common.

I have written this letter before the results of the run-off have been finalized. Why? Because it really does not matter who wins this run-off. Instead, what is most important to my family is the position that has been at the forefront of this run-off –the denial of equal rights to gay and lesbian taxpaying Georgians.

So I ask the Deal and the Handel families to contact me either at the email or phone number listed below (if this is allowed) or through the AJC and let my family know possible dates over the next month when they would be free to visit our home. I will make formal invitations to your respective campaign offices and will allow both of your families to determine the best evening for our dinner and even the desired menu. It is my hope that by breaking bread with my family, the Deal and Handel families will open their eyes to how critical it is for our leaders to build up ALL of our youth; work for equality for ALL taxpaying Georgians; and most importantly see that my family is just as strong, vibrant and quite honestly – important as theirs. We look forward to welcoming you to our home.

Best Regards,

Ed Patterson