Thursday, May 19, 2005

Hugs and Tears in State Affairs

Dozens of people have testified and are still in line to testify on the constitutional ammendment to ban gay marraige, HJR 6. The Senate State Affairs commitee has heard hours of emotional testimony and many more are lined up to testify. Both inside and outside the Senate Chamber there is a strong sense of solidarity as people testifying against the bill share hugs and tears on this most personally sensitive of issues.
Tracy and Steve Kriese have a 19-year-old son who is gay. He came out to them when he was 14. As a Morman family, they say, originally they had a very difficult time with it.
"It wasn't until two years later, after a lot of study and soul-searching that we realized we were wrong in our beliefs about homosexuality," Tracy Kriese says. "Do we believe what the church told us or do we believe our son who we have known his whole life, known that he is a good person, not evil."
After this realization, the Kriese's became politically active to stop the discrimination their son faces in his community and his church. "We have met so many gay people and they are all so wonderful," says Steve Kriese. "We feel very blessed. We wouldn't have been able to meet so many great people if we had not gotten involved."
During the Kriese's testimony before the committee, Steve choked back tears into the silence of the Senate Chamber. They asked only that their son be treated as an equal human being.