faustThis is one of the simplest, most beautiful explanations I’ve heard an elected official give for voting for marriage equality. Minnesota Representative Tim Faust didn’t used to be a supporter of marriage equality, but his own straight marriage changed his mind:

“Well, I have to start by admitting not too long ago I probably would have voted no on this bill,” Faust said.

“Last summer, I got married. And before that, I had dated a woman for four years. And she was a wonderful woman. And I realized after four years, that I could have married her and I would have been happily married to her for the rest of my life. But I also realized, I could be happy without her. And I decided after four years that I wasn’t going to marry somebody I could live with. If I married again, it was going to be to somebody I could not live without. And so, we broke up. And in a few months, I met my wife. And it didn’t take me very long to realize this was somebody I could not live without. And how lucky I am. How lucky we are.”

“And yet in this state there are people that feel that way about each other, that cannot live without that other person, that feel the same way they do about each other that I feel about my wife and yet because of religious beliefs of other people, they do not have the right that I have taken for granted since the day I realized what the opposite sex was.”

How lovely. All of those on the Religious Right who seem convinced that gays will “destroy the institution of marriage” ought to heed Rep. Faust’s words. By not acknowledging that gays and lesbians have the same experiences of love that everyone else has, they further their campaign to dehumanize us, to place us in a separate, “other” category. But indeed, that’s what happens for so many gays and lesbians. Not all of our marriages are like that, just as straight marriages aren’t always like that. But when a couple does reach that ideal, it shouldn’t matter whether they’re gay or straight.