July 12, 2004
written by Robert Murch

Dear Mimi & Bubba,

I can honestly say I was taken by surprise when I got your letter, and left with an odd sense of disappointment and loss.  However, a small piece of me knew you would write this, though I hoped I would be wrong.

I am embarrassed to say you interpreted our invitation the wrong way.  I was not asking for you blessings, your approval, or your thoughts for that matter.  I simply asked that you attend a celebration of Gary and my commitment.  I gave it a 50 % chance you would come, but I hoped both of you would have the manners and respect to keep your opinions to yourself unless of course we asked for them.  I re-read the invitation just to make sure we hadn’t asked for your opinion…turns out we didn’t.

Boy, you assume an awful lot.  One that we are close enough for you to speak your mind to me, and two that you think I need to know your feelings.  The reality of the situation is you don’t know me, my choices, my lifestyle, or Gary for that matter.  All you know about me is a little boy who you loved to correct his manners.  Manners you seem to have lost.  I find it incredibly ironic you have yet to ask me in depth about any of those things and yet felt the need to get your feelings off your chest.  How incredibly one sided and selfish of you.  Now there is a Murch trait that never ceases to amaze me.  Just who do you think you are?  Why should I be subjected to your unasked for opinions?  Is that also your G-d given right?

You wasted an entire piece of paper writing that letter because it wasn’t to me.  Not one word of that letter was about me.  I got married, I am having a reception, I invited you, and all you did was tell me how you feel.  In it you compare my marriage to yours, preach to me about G-d, and explain to me how family lineages transpire.  I would like to respond to each of those points. 

Why in G-d’s green earth would you feel the need to compare my marriage to yours?  Am I missing something here?  Did I somehow infer to you that I wanted to compare the two?  I’m quite happy just thinking about my own marriage thank you.  Trust me, I wouldn’t in a million years compare what I have with Gary, with what you two have and that has nothing to do with sex.  It never fails to amaze me when any married people tell other married people how better, different or worse their marriage is than someone else’s.  I also find it rather amusing that you spent so much time writing about how different our marriages are and never once mentioned what they share….two people who love each other, who wish to commit to each other, and share in the same rights responsibilities and privileges others do.  In a time when the divorce rate is over 50% in America I have to believe that loving each other, being each other’s best friend, and being there for each other is what is going to make our marriage work.  I would hope the same is true for you.  But again, since I don’t really know you both all that well I won’t assume anything.  You know what they say about assuming…it makes an ass out of you and me.

A G-d given right huh?  I don’t have the time or energy to give either one of you a history lesson on the evolution of marriage.  However, how about we make a deal here.  I won’t use G-d or my religion as a crutch to be close-minded and stubborn if you won’t.  Woops!  Too late, one of us has already slipped on that one!   Again, I checked my invitation and not once did I claim my marriage to be held as a religious ceremony.  I also checked the stats and over half of those married in the U.S. also use Justices of the Peace, who do not perform religious marriages.  I wonder if you found out who they were if you would tell them how different their marriage was from yours?  Since when is what is important to you, necessarily equally important to me?  For two people who have lifetimes of experience you certainly don’t have much common sense.  I am not living your life, and you aren’t a big enough piece of my life to have any opinion on what I do,  at least not an informed one.  Do me a favor, stop believing everything you see on T.V.  Turn off whatever TV evangelist church program you watch and get the scoop from the horses mouth.  You want to know about same sex marriage?  Are you afraid of what my commitment might do to yours or the institution of marriage?  Why don’t you just call me up and ask?  I realize it’s much easier to get sucked in by gloom and doom sitting in front of the television than to get the facts.  If you are finished reviewing all that religion has to say on the subject, than give the same time in hearing the other side.  Only after having an open and honest discussion with the same sex people getting married would I even consider listening to your opinion.  Ah, but that would require a discussion.  That would be Bad! Bad! Bad!  Why discuss anything if you already know the answer right?

I am not fighting for religious marriage.  Not at all.  For such learned people I am amazed that you don’t realize that in America, the government gives the right to individuals to marry couples.  Religion does not manage marriage for our government.  Hence, Justices of the Peace.  Maybe you weren’t aware that there is a difference between civil marriage and religious marriage.  How oddly appropriate that you put a sticker on your envelope that says “Support Our Troops…Remember Our Veterans.”  The United States was formed on and has fought many wars based on religious freedom.  We are currently fighting a war on terrorism against religious extremists.  Still, you believe I should be subjected to your religious beliefs.  The Constitution protects us all from the very thinking you have laid out.  Unfortunately from me, it doesn’t protect me from your words.  Oh well, I am a big boy and sticks and stones may break my bones…Thank G-d for separation of church and state! 

I don’t know what to say about the whole procreation thing you rambled on about.  I mean you put so much stress on being able to have children and didn’t mention once the enormous responsibility of raising them.  You may have a G-d given right to procreate but it takes a lot more than that right to raise a child.  Would my marriage to a woman be of any less value to you if we didn’t or couldn’t have kids?  If I had a child out of wedlock would they still be your great grandchild?   Don’t answer, I honestly don’t care.  That’s the point, I didn’t get married for you, I got married for me.  Funny how me getting married made you want to explain to me how you don’t approve and I never felt the need to explain myself to you. Hmmmm.

The point is you don’t think much, either one of you.  You wrote as if you were imparting some wonderfully insightful thought.  I simply offered you, my grandparents, the opportunity to celebrate and be happy for my happiness.  I didn’t say in order to come you have to agree with me.  I never asked you for your opinion quite simply because I don’t value your opinion.  We aren’t close, none of us can claim to know the other at all, from what I do know and see I don’t like very much.  My mother taught me respect wasn’t something given it was earned.  Besides being my grandparents and elders, that’s where the respect ends.  We may be related but we haven’t shared in many experiences.  That’s a fact.  I can’t live in a fantasyland full of rationalizations designed to ease other people’s conscience.  I don’t judge others, but actions have consequences.  You could have had the common decency to bite your tongue and be happy for me on my day, your grandson.  Here was an opportunity for you to be part of my life.  Instead you chose to use this chance to proselytize.  Congratulations, you both have graduated from Asshole U.  Me getting married wasn’t about you and you just couldn’t pass up the chance to make it about you.  Again, congratulations.  Outstanding Murch quality number 2!

If I was anything like you I would take this opportunity to theorize about what you both might have done to screw up your children so badly.  But, you’ve probably guessed by now that I am nothing like you.  Common decency and the lack of a relationship tells me to keep my mouth shut and smile.  Both your children chose their lives over their children.  Now you have done the same with one of your grandchildren.  It’s now very clear to me that theirs was learned behavior.  Though I do give Bob  Sr. credit here.  He has been trying with Dan, and I know Dan appreciates it.  That makes me happy.  He even accepted our invitation to celebrate.  I don’t know whether he supports my decision or not and I don’t even care, but even he had the common courtesy to respect my day and either send in his reply with a yes or no.  I never even got your reply card?  It was due on July 1st by the way.  Again a little lacking on the manners eh?  Your letter was dated July 7th.

Right now I don’t think much of either of you and it’s your own doing.  I’m not mad or angry or hurt you feel the way you do, I’m pissed off at how you’ve handled yourself.  Yes, I do expect more from adults especially those who keep saying how much they love me.  After reading your unsolicited opinion I thank my lucky stars I was raised by my mother and Zadie and Grandma.  If either of you had raised me can you imagine how I would feel about myself?  Yeah can I come visit you?  That would really be fun.  Haven’t you ever wondered why I haven’t been back there?  Can you blame me?

Unlike so many Murch’s, I don’t hold grudges.  However, I do like to hold people to their word.  You write you care about me and that you love me.  You write about how we are welcome to visit you anytime.  You really mean those things?  Then come down and show me.  Talk is cheap and oh how us Murch’s love to talk.  Show me that my happiness is more important than you making a statement about whether or not you approve of my marriage.  You’ve said your piece and I am still offering you a chance to show me that you are both worth getting to know.  I will leave a seating card for you with everyone else’s and we will see just how important I am to you.  I bet if I asked Jesus Christ himself to attend my reception he would and you know why?  He practiced what he preached.  He understood the difference between man made law and G-d’s law, yet respected them both.  I thought as a Christian you were supposed to emulate him?

Mark 12:17 - And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him

If you can’t find it in yourself to attend then we both know where we stand.  You have caused me quite enough grief at a time that should be the happiest day of my life.  Do me one last favor.  If you do decide not to come don’t respond to this or try to contact me.  Go poison someone else life.  I distanced myself along time ago from this kind of hurtful and self-destructive behavior and I’m no masochist.  Maybe I shouldn’t have invited you but one for one moment I guess I broke from reality and thought my happiness meant something to you.  Wow, how wrong could a guy be?  How much does this family need to lose? The ball is in your court.  I may have asked you to come to my reception but I never asked you for that response.  Tell me, did either of your grandparents or parents not come to your wedding reception because they didn’t like your marriage?  How would it make you feel if they told you that?  Would you still want them in your life even a little?

I truly hope you make the right decision and the letter you wrote isn’t the last thing you get to say to me.  Time is working against us here.  Why would you settle for missing me if you have the opportunity to see me at my happiest?  I simply will never understand how disposable family can be.  That will never happen in MY family.


P.S. I’ve included a copy of your letter to make sure there is no confusion on who said what.  I have also included some newspaper stories that were written about Gary and myself and our fight for equal rights.  They are a great place to start learning who I am.

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