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Letter: Pleased that ND’s same-sex marriage ban to be challenged

It’s time for a homosexual to speak on behalf of the other homosexuals in extremely closeted North Dakota. For a number of years, I have been wondering when my home state, where I live, would challenge the ban on gay marriage. That time has finally come. I couldn’t be happier.

I left North Dakota to pursue undergraduate and graduate schoolwork. Living in Minnesota, helping fight for everyone’s right to marry the person they love, and then living in Washington, where same-sex couples can also get married, has only reaffirmed this notion: Allowing gay people like me to marry only betters society. It allows moms and dads to have equal protection under the law; it allows partners to visit each other in the hospital; and it allows two people who love each other to make a public commitment recognized by the government.

I wonder if North Dakota is ready for this change. Conservative, prone to not discussing important topics, and often close-minded, North Dakotans might not be ready to admit they’ve been lagging behind the rest of the country. But there is a moment here, a moment that would allow us to reaffirm every person’s right to love another person, whether that person is of the same sex or not.

Before I left to enter Princeton Theological Seminary, my aunt outed me to my parents. Since this time, I have been estranged from the two people who brought me into this world, raised me and wept at my college graduation. I have not spent a holiday with family in more than four years, and I doubt that day will come anytime soon. But in all our families there might be a place for hope.

When I told my now-88-year-old Catholic grandfather, a World War II veteran, on Veterans Day, in Denny’s, among other WWII veterans, that I am gay, he simply said, “Taylor, the priests say it’s against our religion, but you’re my grandson. Forget what the priests say!”

Many people will use religious Scriptures in this debate, misconstruing their true meaning of love, and by doing this we, as a society, will continue to push the notion that it’s not OK to be gay. We will force young men and women to contemplate taking their own lives because close-minded people push base viewpoints of hate and bigotry.

Prove me wrong, North Dakota. Show me that you are open-minded and affirm the person that I am.

Brorby lives in Dickinson, N.D.