Bob Kerr: Life gets better when a daughter gets married

Posted by Bob Kerr on

"Tony and Sylvia DeLuca will go to the State House to testify in support of the bill legalizing marriage equality in Rhode Island. They will offer personal rebuttal to the empty, indefensible position that marriage for same-sex couples somehow threatens heterosexual marriage.

“'My wife and I have never been closer as a married couple than when our daughter decided to marry,' says Tony.

"The DeLucas have been married for 51 years.

"They attended the wedding of their daughter Luisa to her partner Brenda Harvey last June in Provincetown, Mass., where marriage is as it should be — a matter of love and commitment between two people.

"And maybe with the message the DeLucas bring to the discussion and with the support of others who see the injustice in denying equal rights to gays and lesbians, this will finally be the year when Rhode Island moves past small-minded intolerance and approves marriage equality.

“'My daughter said to me ‘Mom, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life,’ ' says Sylvia.

"What they can’t understand is how people can justify denying that kind of happiness to anyone.

“'We think it’s a matter of human rights, enshrined in the Constitution,' says Tony. 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'

"Tony is a friend of mine. He cares deeply about things that matter. He was a teacher, a state representative, a Cranston city councilman and a two-time candidate for mayor of Cranston. He worked in anti-poverty programs, and that sometimes meant that Sylvia would awake to find kids with nowhere to go sleeping on a couch in their house.

"Tony was very active in the campaign of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and it was during that campaign that he met members of the gay community and shared his feelings on the freedom to marry.

"So Tony and Sylvia will testify to try to help make things right. And they will appear in a video which is part of the campaign to persuade people that marriage for same-sex couples only strengthens family ties.

"The video is being produced by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), a Boston-based legal rights organization. In it, other parents join the DeLucas in a common message of support.

"The video provides the kind of personal affirmation that opponents of marriage equality simply can’t.

"In the almost laughable arguments against marriage, not once has a married, two-gender couple offered first-hand evidence of damage done to their marital bond by a man marrying a man or a woman a woman.

"The question — how does one damage the other — will remain forever unanswered.

... "[Luisa] and Brenda have bought a house in West Kingston. They are Rhode Island taxpayers with a marriage license from the state next door. Perhaps, later this year, they will enjoy all the rights other Rhode Island taxpayers enjoy."


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