I'm an American citizen living in London, and I considered ignoring my absentee ballot for the US Presidency race because I'm married to a Brazilian man. No matter who wins the presidential election today, my husband won't be able to meet my family in California.
Gay marriage is illegal there. A civil union is acceptable, but that's just two signatures in a book and some handholding. It carries no legal status in the Federal government. With Mormon political leaders using their poorly edited Christian text as a weapon, my desire to spend my life with my male partner is seen as evil, whilst more liberal politicians, namely Obama, have evolved into acceptance. If Romney wins, I'm Satan. If Obama wins, I'm modern. Whilst here in London, I'm merely a tax-paying spouse in Hackney.
Why are many Americans still burning witches whilst even the conservatives in Britain have bent over in every direction to accommodate my gay needs? Are the British an older culture, so more sophisticated, assuming wisdom comes with age? Or have gay rights activists here been less emotional and more effective than in the US? Or perhaps most British men of power had their greatest love affairs whilst away at Eaton, et al, and so they understand the value of same sex coupling?
Frankly, the answer is probably amusing, potentially pornographic, but ultimately un-important. What concerns me is the humiliation my husband suffered when being turned down for his tourist visa at the American Embassy in London. The interview lasted less than 60 seconds.
My man: "I want to visit my husband's hometown of San Francisco."
Balding fat homophobic interviewer: "He's your husband? Well you're not going to America. Next!" Elections come and go, Presidents smile and change color, but gay humbling thrives under the huge golden eagle in Grosvener Square.
However this year I voted for Obama. My husband is black, and I'm assuming they know each other. Actually my husband is so black, he's purple. He has green eyes, and dyed a streak of red into his hair. It's like getting bummed by a rainbow. I'm watching him run about the flat in his white pants right now, wondering how anyone could be unaccommodating to this lovely, charming man who speaks four languages and yes, If he could, he'd campaign for Obama. Or at the very least prepare him a very tasty lunch.
I voted for Obama because he seems like a prudent choice, because the economy in the US is still poor, and black men work for less. But he's disappointed, like every other politician. He said he'd pull out of the Middle East, but men say they're gonna pull out all the time. They lie, and that's how Alabama stays populated.
I voted for Obama, even though he's ordered the illegal bombing of Pakistan, and the hippies in California don't say a word. Where is the hairy lesbian with a rifle rushing City Hall in San Francisco, demanding to know why women and children are dying there because of American drones dropping bombs made in South Korea? War isn't just Hell, it's complicated and in this uncompromising age, time consuming!
I voted for Obama because my mother died without health insurance. Several bills remain stuffed in a manila envelope on my sister's desk. Someone has to pay them. I'll call Mitt. Do Mormons have cell phones? Well I know they have a few bucks, now that Mitt's adds are done running. Oh that's right, if he wins, 47 percent of Americans have to learn to fend for themselves. Maybe my dying mother could've learned to make things out of sticks and clay and sold them on the street corner, using her last breaths to beg for coins.
Maybe Mitt can take time out of his busy prayer breakfasts and come witness what middle class poverty, and a swampy New Jersey coastline, smells like. I guess Mitt prefers to be on his knees, swallowing pork and hoping for a miracle.
I voted for Obama because I want to sleep. What keeps me up at night is the anger I feel because my husband can't meet the row of alcoholics and pill poppers that make up my lineage. If only he could witness, in person, what a paranoid, trembling mess my remaining family of underpaid, suffering Americans are, he might realize how well I've turned out!