Candidate for Michigan’s 93rd House District Josh Derke declined to answer the “2014 Michigan Family Values Survey” from the Virginia-based Public Advocate of the United States — a group designated an antigay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Instead, he wrote this letter to the group’s front man Eugene Delgaudio:
Alas, Mr. Delgaudio, it seems your letter has reached me far too late. The Homosexual Lobby has already dug their fabulously manicured claws into me, and I am afraid to report that I have been brainwashed into mindless support of the Homosexual Agenda. Would that it were that your erudite survey had reached my desk earlier, ere I succumbed to their influence, my mind might yet be unshackled from the horrible idea that all people deserve equal treatment and dignity.
Let me tell you what pro-family is, Eugene. Pro-family is standing by your gay brother for merely being who he is. Pro-family is accepting your cousins, your friends, and homosexual parents across the globe for who they are. It is recognizing that all credible studies that have explored the issue of gay and lesbian parents have shown that they raise well-adjusted children who are just as successful as those raised by straight parents. Pro-family means that you’re not going to rip established families apart because you can’t see through the veil of your own self-defeating prejudices.
Pro-family is not demonizing and dehumanizing people because they’re different than you are. It is not labeling a group of people immoral because you don’t understand human sexuality.
I am far from silent on pro-family issues. I am, in fact, vociferous. I imagine that it is a voice you’d rather be silent. The truth is that there is no homosexual agenda. There is no homosexual lobby. There are only people — men, women, transgendered, and others — who deserve equal treatment under the law, and equal respect in our society. Human beings with dignity, who love and are loved, in return.
I am capable of independent thought and reflection on this issue. There is no abdication. There is no brainwashing. There is recognition of the simple, irrefutable fact that you and people like you want to degrade and discriminate against a group of people based on nothing more than learned prejudice.
Let me address the balderdash on the survey you sent me. What is REAL MARRIAGE? Is real marriage a sanctified union of two people who love each other, and pledge to honor a commitment they make, legally and religiously? Is it an arrangement that has been recognized to foster a healthy environment in which to best raise children? I would argue that yes, marriage is, generally, these things. So why does it have to be restricted to one man and one woman if all the data says that gays and lesbians are just as capable of raising children and loving each other as straight couples? Who is harmed by such arrangements? Certainly not the children. Certainly not you. Certainly not the gay and lesbian couples who seek such arrangements.
As for the second bit of nonsense, let me say this on Michigan’s gay marriage amendment: it lost in court because the judge ruled that there was no legitimate state interest in banning gay marriage. The state could not defend itself in court, and the reasons it gave for maintaining the ban, as revealed in the documents, were not found to be logical or conducive to the ends Michigan seeks to achieve through marriage (Judge Friedman’s ruling can be found here: http://archive.freep.com/assets/freep/pdf/C4220110321.PDF — I suggest that you read it). As has been ruled in Michigan and in other states, there is no right for the State to define marriage so narrowly as to only include one man and one woman without violating time-honored principles of the United States Constitution. As an elected official, I could do nothing to change this. It is not within the power of elected officials to run roughshod over the constitution. If the cases were upheld all the way to the Supreme Court then it is a settled matter. States do not have the right to ban same-sex marriage, and there is nothing anyone can do to change that without either ignoring or changing the United States Constitution.
The third statement is asinine. I don’t know who Tim Gill or Paul Singer are, nor do I particularly care. It would be impossible for any group to buy my support if I already agree with their founding principles. But, again, I must stress that there isn’t any such thing as the homosexual lobby. You are fighting a phantom of your own creation, sir. Each parry and thrust against this phantasm is merely you fighting yourself. I just hope that you’re brave and wise enough to come to understand this someday.
The final point is one that I find to be the most offensive, and to me, solidifies your divorce from reality. Polling in the State of Michigan indicates that as many as 73% of citizens support expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include language similar to this: “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.” I am amongst them. Nobody, however, has ever seriously proposed adding language to protect “Pedophilia” in these kinds of acts. You signed the letter as “HON. EUGENE DELGAUDIO,” but there is nothing honorable about your letter, your survey, or your conduct. You and your group should be ashamed of sending this pile of excrement. And I hope that if there is even a shred of humanity within you that you feel a twinge of guilt and shame for comparing loving couples and parents to pedophiles.
It is my sincere hope that you should one day drop your prejudice and listen. Listen to the gay and lesbian couples who only want to marry so that they can express their love. Listen to the sons and daughters of gay and lesbian parents. Do not try to silence them. Do not ignore them. They are people, and they deserve to be heard. They deserve to be defended, and represented in government.
I shall be sharing your letter and your survey, along with my own response, on my website. I believe strongly that people should be made aware of the groups that seek to influence elections in this country, and the kinds of language they use and the claims they make.
Josh Derke is the Democratic candidate for State Representative, 93rd House District in Math, Mich.