This has been a difficult week for many of you. I understand the challenges you have faced with these changes. It is difficult when things occur that run counter to your deeply held values. None of you who I count as friends carries the hate and vitriol I have seen exhibited by others with whom you share political values, and I know your opposition to many of these issues is not anchored in intolerance. I don’t agree with you, but I respect you.
I understand your frustration. Here in my own state, I have seen many values which I hold dear opposed by the current administration. But setting aside my frustration and disappointment, the truth is that we continue on caring about each other. Some of the politicians who you may support are calling for keeping up the fight against same-sex marriage, against the Affordable Healthcare Act, against reasonable gun regulations. I ask you for a different favor. Take your energy, your passion, your commitment, and redirect it as positively as you can. I don’t mean give up the issues about which you are passionate, but ask yourself which issues you really support benefit all of us and make us better. I understand that is a very big favor I ask, so let’s start small. Don’t encourage or support those who wish to hurt the vulnerable in our country merely for their own personal gain. They want to harness negativity and frustration and fear for political gain. Resist them. Encourage them to find ways to rebuild the economy, promote freedom, and find common ground.
Some of you may view the joy and celebration of those with whom you disagree as disrespectful, and in some isolated cases, I agree. But the truth is that the celebration is not about anyone losing. No one has lost anything this week. People who have been struggling for equal protection under the law, who have been struggling to find affordable healthcare, now are able to celebrate. They have finally received their basic human rights under the law. This is not about us vs. them, this is about all of us moving forward together.
I love and respect you, my friends, and will fight to the end for your rights to express your opinions and advocate what you believe is right.