Squishy Lopez rationale offensive

May 23, 2013

Elections have consequences and apparently the newly-elected Sen. Lopez has yet to learn that people he represents have very realistic expectations for services. At the top of those expectations is for his constituents to be heard when issues rise to a high level of interest. I, like many neighbors contacted Lopez many times regarding the debate over HB 75. For weeks leading up to this vote, I emailed, snail mailed, and called his office to ask for his position and requested the courtesy of a reply.

I honestly didn’t know what his views were even after asking a few people who worship with him in the same progressive church. Imagine my disappointment when after many request, Lopez and his office never responded, just like Mr Oliver mentioned in his letter of protest earlier. My gut tells me that many others reading this letter found the same silence. Did he become too big to respond to his small corner of the state?

Worse then his lack of response was reading the text of his speech during the debate before he voted no on marriage equality. While it appears he was looking to be conciliatory and perhaps eloquent, “we need to go from this place, working together, for the betterment of all.“ I couldn’t agree more sir. Yet in the same breath, he mentions people he loves, worships with, and respect who are a same sex couple with children, but would not acknowledge to their face they have a right to equally live in love as a married family like he does. Is their love and family valued less then his?

In his words, he had no answer for a same sex couple who challenged him and said “there needs to be more to back your no vote.” Instead, he fell back to “...because for the past 36 years of my life, I’ve known marriage as between one man and one women...” This he said to adults, but certainly he understand it’s the adult/child equivalent of..."Because I am the parent, that’s why.” This is what happens when there is little intellectual reasoning, but simply falling back on an easy way out. If they were his neighbors and constituents how could he not see this rationale as offensive?

There were many people who have worked many years on this issue and thankfully, their participation and efforts in the Democratic process allowed it to pass despite the five no votes from Sussex County Senators. This I remind Lopez and them, is a county with the fourth highest concentration of gay couples in the country. We are citizens and when you get to know us as your neighbors, friends, parishioners, and family, you will understand the importance of your responsiveness. I will close in agreement with your own words Senator, ...”it comes down to trust, we can do better, we can do more.”

Allen B. Cuff
Rehoboth Beach


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