A New York City man, Dillon Pena, who knows Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin personally, wrote a very public letter to her this week regarding his sexual orientation and how it is regarded in the state of Oklahoma. In it he expresses being distraught over the fact that although he is from Oklahoma, loves his home state, and hopes to move back there someday, as far as the law is concerned there he is a second-class citizen. In many states members of the LGBT community are not given equality under the law, and this disenfranchises the people who live there.
The Right will say to just move, or in this case don’t move there, but I highly doubt any of them would just up and move if they were treated poorly. They would say the same things that current LGBT people do, that they love their homes and they don’t want to have to move. Unfortunately there are many who seem to feel that people who are different from them are not equal and do not deserve to be treated as human beings, but luckily we’re in an age in our society in which this is changing and hopefully this letter will help move the conversation along.
Mr. Pena says in his letter:
I hope that this letter finds you well, and that your day is off to a great start. You may not remember me, so allow me to reintroduce myself to you. I’m Dillon Peña, a former friend and acquaintance of your daughter Christina. I’ve been to your house in northwest Oklahoma City. I’ve been to a festival at the Oklahoma River with you. I’ve broken bread and had dinner with you at Red Rock, and you have even been to church with me. Although I am currently a New York City resident, Oklahoma remains the home of my heart.
I am an Oklahoma fan through and through. I cheer for the Thunder as well as OU and OSU. You see, Governor, I would love to move back to Oklahoma someday. However, today, Governor, in the eyes of the great state of Oklahoma, my two brothers and I are not equal. When you recently ordered that same-sex partners of service members in the Oklahoma National Guard not receive the spousal benefits that their partners earned and that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy, you boldly declared that people like me are not equal in your eyes. Today I have a job in which I am excelling, but in Oklahoma I could be fired simply for being who I am. I could walk into any restaurant and be denied service for being who I am. Worst of all, if I were in the Oklahoma National Guard, I would be reminded that my sacrifice was not equal to that of my fellow service members, solely because I love a man and not a woman.