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Cuomo Phobia

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Dear Governor Cuomo:

I am writing to express my deep disappointment with your recent decision to push for an expansion of the definition of marriage – one that allows for marriage between a man and a man or between a woman and a woman. Most of your recent critics are writing because they think your crusade on this issue has gone too far. I’m writing because I don’t think it goes far enough. In fact, I think your approach to this issue reflects a fundamental narrow-mindedness that is almost as distasteful as your Pharisaic moral posturing and your constant media grandstanding.

Before I continue, let me introduce myself. I was born in Mississippi in the 1960s. I am a former atheist and Democrat and who voted for Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton. I also have a younger sister named Jennifer who is single and bisexual. In other words, I have had some exposure to other ideas, cultures, and lifestyles. I’m no bigot. In fact, I was the first kid on my block to own a Flip Wilson record. That should count for something.

But let me get back to my original purpose for writing. In your recent campaign to allow same-sex marriage in New York you presented yourself as one who supports “marriage equality.” But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, you favor a narrow definition of marriage that is based on your own irrational fears and prejudices. And it is time to show real moral leadership by embracing moral relativism fully, not half-heartedly as you have done so far.

Governor Cuomo, I want to get married. And I want to move my new wife to New York City so we can pursue our respective careers in education and art (she is a painter). But, unless your state becomes more welcoming and affirming, we won’t be able to do that because the woman I want to marry is my younger sister Jennifer.

It may shock you to hear from someone who openly advocates incest. But that is the way people used to react to homosexuality. In the case of homosexuality, the remedy for such a puritanical reaction has not been silence. It has been openness. Just as we talked about homosexuality constantly – beginning in the early 90s – we must now do the same with incest. There simply is no other way to make our lifestyle seem normal.

Under my plan tolerance of incest must begin in the public schools. We must then extend our efforts to the national media. In fact, I envision a day when every Hollywood sitcom will have at least one incestuous couple. But, at some point, we must take the fight into the political arena. And that is why I am writing you today.

When people attack you for your recent success in legalizing same sex marriage they are likely to use scare tactics. They are likely to say that you have opened the door for incestuous and polygamous marriages. I want you to resist the temptation to dismiss their remarks as homophobic. To do so would actually reinforce phobias against incest and polygamy. So, instead, please show some courage and admit that the same logic that allows for same sex marriage also allows for incestuous and polygamous marriage.

Governor Cuomo, once you have committed to the idea of marriage equality you have to see it through. And that means you should do more than simply tolerate my decision to marry my sister Jennifer. You should affirm it with the full force of the law.

Some have asked me whether I am concerned at all about the implications of marrying Jennifer. Specifically, they worry that once married to me she will try to bring a third party – one of her girlfriends – into the marriage. But I am okay with a three party marriage. I’m committed to marriage equality even if it means sharing a lover with my younger sister. Sharing is an integral part of the progressive vision.

In conclusion, Governor Cuomo, I think you have been acting like a real hypocrite. You speak of equality but, in your heart, you consider some animals to be more equal than others. And that is offensive to those of us who crave public affirmation compelled by the force of law.

Note to Readers: The author of this satire doesn’t have a sister. Nor does he own pets. But he does own a copy of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift.

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