Activist Jacob Reitan and his parents gave moving testimony on a marriage equality bill the Minnesota state House committee passed on Tuesday.
“We love Jacob so very much,” said Randi, his mother. “We come here today as a family with dreams, dreams that someday soon Minnesota will grant our son Jacob the freedom to marry. We want for Jacob what has been so precious to us for 40 years.”
Jacob’s father Phillip said that when his son came out of the closet 15 years ago, the family didn’t really have any idea what he was telling them. They had no LGBT friends and knew no other families with LGBT children.
“Jacob was patient with us,” said his father. “He led us.”
“We have been on a journey as a family ever since, working to see the day of equality,” he continued. “Our family longs to rejoice at Jacob’s wedding.”
Jacob Reitan, who organized the 2006 Soulforce Ride, a bus tour of activists to university campuses and communities across the country in favor of LGBT rights, spoke about his three siblings’ weddings.
“During these ceremonies I wiped away tears as my siblings exchanged vows and forged new families with their beloveds,” he said. “As a gay man, I should have the same opportunity to marry as my three siblings. My desire to love is no less valid and no less worthy of recognition by our state than theirs.”
The family’s testimony was in sharp contrast to a statement at the same hearing by “concerned Minnesotan and father and husband” Mike Fry, who presented his rambling, semi-coherent thoughts about the biological process of HIV infection and butt enzymes.
The two bills legalizing same sex marriage passed out of their respective committees on Tuesday, and will now go before the full state House and Senate. If they pass, the bills will then go to the desk of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, who has pledged to sign the bill into law.
Watch the video, embedded via UpTake Video, below:
(hat-tip to Towleroad.com)