Gay marriage

by CynthiaYockey on February 28, 2009

During the hospitalization in September 2004 when we found out that my life partner, Margaret Ardussi, was dying, one of the nurses commented to me on our devotion to one another and then said, “I’ve only seen that level of devotion from gay couples.”

Wow.

I believe that legalizing gay marriage will strengthen the institution, not weaken it. And my perception is that we have to let the world see more of our devotion to one another to win the right to marry legally. Pictures have a power that words do not, and love has a power beyond pictures to reach into people’s hearts to open them so that we may have the legal structure of marriage, to protect the one of devotion that we make for ourselves because the power of our love for one another is so strong and transforming that to do anything else would simply tear our hearts out.

I’ll tell more of the story in words later, but today I am telling it in photos. I don’t have many — we didn’t often have money to spare for getting photos developed.

I met Margaret Ardussi on June 30, 1984, in Fairfield, Iowa, when I came to stay at the house where she rented a room for a World Peace Assembly at Maharishi International University (now Maharishi University of Management) for people practicing the TM-Sidhi program. Margaret had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1980 and was too disabled to work. I was an unemployed writer. She was eloquent, well-educated, cultured, the kindest person I’ve ever met in my life and I felt like I’d held her image in my heart all my life and at last I’d found her. I was 30 and she was 43.

If you want to know how it is possible for a couple to go through the kind of adversity you do with a progressive illness like multiple sclerosis — Margaret became paralyzed from T-5 in April 1992 and was quadriplegic by 1994 — plus, I had a progressive condition, too, that almost killed me in 2003 — and still have the bliss and radiance that you can see in our faces in the photos below, then I have a few tips.

First, when you argue with one another, and you realize you are wrong, besides having the ability to know when you are wrong, you also must be able to say, with kindness, “You were right, dear, AND, I was wrong.” It’s the second phrase that does the most healing.

Second, every day, every single day,  say to her, “I thank God for you in my life! I am so fortunate to be with you! I love you with all my heart and you are the most beautiful woman in the world TO ME.” (It’s the “TO ME” that sells the truth of the statement.)

Margaret died on December 7, 2004, in our home under hospice care with me at her side of a stroke and complications of multiple sclerosis. In the last photo below, the bandage on the bridge of her nose is for a pressure sore from her respirator mask, which was almost completely healed by the time she died. Before the stroke took her ability to speak, her last words to me were, “I love you.”

Margaret Ardussi, July 1, 1984, wearing a shirt she painted after she spilled ink on it. Margaret was a genius artist in water-based paints.

Margaret Ardussi, July 1, 1984, wearing a shirt she painted after she spilled ink on it. Margaret was a genius artist in water-based paints.

Margaret Ardussi and Cynthia Yockey, Christmas 1984; this is the last photo I have of Margaret standing.

Margaret Ardussi and Cynthia Yockey, Christmas 1984; this is the last photo I have of Margaret standing.

Margaret and Cynthia in 1985; the photo was taken by our friend, genius artist Andrew Hudson.

Margaret and Cynthia in 1985; the photo was taken by our friend, genius artist Andrew Hudson.

Margaret and Cynthia at her parents' home in Issaquah, Washington, in August 1986.

Margaret and Cynthia at her parents' home in Issaquah, Washington, in August 1986.

Cynthia and Margaret, Feb. 1989, for a piece on how to succeed at staying in a committed relationship for the Washington Blade in Feb. 1989.

Cynthia and Margaret, Feb. 1989, for a piece on how to succeed at staying in a committed relationship for the Washington Blade in Feb. 1989.

Margaret and Cynthia at the Jeffeson Memorial pansy garden during cherry blossom time, probably 1993.

Margaret and Cynthia at the Jefferson Memorial pansy garden during cherry blossom time, probably 1993.

Margaret and Cynthia on a fall-colors daytrip in the Shenandoah Mountains with friends, mid-to-late 1990s.

Margaret and Cynthia on a fall-colors daytrip in the Shenandoah Mountains with friends, mid-to-late 1990s.

Cynthia and Margaret in a portrait by a Sears photographer, June 9, 1997.

Cynthia and Margaret in a portrait by a Sears photographer, June 9, 1997.

Margaret and Cynthia on our 20th anniversary, Sept. 25, 2004, with cake my father brought us. Margaret had been diagnosed as dying a couple of weeks earlier and received hospice care in our home, which was her wish.

Margaret and Cynthia on our 20th anniversary, Sept. 25, 2004, with cake my father brought us. Margaret had been diagnosed as dying a couple of weeks earlier and received hospice care in our home, which was her wish.

Margaret Ardussi, November 12, 2004. She died on December 7, 2004, with me at her side. Her last words to me were, "I love you."

Margaret Ardussi, November 12, 2004. She died on December 7, 2004, with me at her side. Her last words to me were, "I love you."

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  • Tom

    So I’m just curious. What’s it like being part of a movement (conservatism) in which 75% of your “allies”, according to every opinion poll done on the subject, report personal dislike of your lifestyle? I mean, it’s just hillarious to me that you try to convince yourself that conservatives and Republicans don’t despise you.

    They do, and you know it. Ronald Reagan chose as a member of his cabinet Pat Buchanan, who said that God had given AIDS to homosexuals to punish them.

    These are people who fundamentally wish you dead. Who wish you didn’t exist.

    You can scream and cry about Barack Obama’s associations all you want. Under Obama, gays will be allowed in the military, gays will be allowed civil unions and they won’t be discriminated against in public schools/the federal government.

    By the way, Obama was never a Muslim. He was never raised as a Muslim. And if you think he was/still is, you’re a crackpot.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      HillBuzz reports that Obama never, ever marched or participated in a Gay Pride parade in Chicago. (Hillary Clinton has.)

      Obama campaigned with an ex-gay in South Carolina. (McCain and Palin both had openly gay persons on their staffs during the campaign, as I recall.)

      Gays were the first group Obama threw under the bus after his election when he announced that our priorities were not important and could wait. When this produced outrage from the gay and lesbian community, he backtracked a bit — just enough to get us to shut up.

      Obama has not appointed an openly gay or lesbian person to any important position in his administration.

      Why do you think these sins of omission and commission do not portend more of the same?

      I think Obama and the Democratic Party will never deliver on their promises of marriage, civil rights and serving openly in the military. Their attitude is that we are dupes, worker bees and cash cows who will let all the other groups they DO regard as important — that is, more powerful — trample us as we hold the door open for them. Their attitude is clearly that we have nowhere else to go. I just could not stand the exploitation and abuse from Democrats any longer. And I am going to be setting the record — I hesitate to use the word, but what the hell — straight about conservatives. We do have somewhere else to go if we agree with them about just one thing: there is a tipping point in the size of government and the amount of taxes it levies that causes the loss of the freedom of the individual to succeed and prosper. I am an entrepreneur and I agree with that. And I have been courteously and graciously and warmly welcomed.

      Read my posts on Obama as a sociopath.

      Also, keep up with the news and Obama’s campaign endorsements, including Muammar Gaddafi’s. It is Muslims who are claiming he is a Muslim.

    • Lee__

      Just to set the record straight. I’m a conservative. I love my country, as most of my friends, and I am not a racist or a homophobe, or any of the other nasty things that folks on the left like to say of people like me. My sister-in-law and her life partner are very happy lesbians and liberal. My wife and I respect them and love them both. There is a huge majority in this country who do feel as I do. Racism, in reality, has long been dead, and the playbook of the left is getting very stale and tiring.

      We, unlike your side, are very accepting of people, as unlike your side, who demonize us for simply existing.

      I read a lot of blogs….including this one and HillBuzz….and the Daily KOS….I see a lot of really nasty and hateful stuff at the KOS…..Do you think that is a good thing? Funny how we are the haters and you all seem to be the mature, intelligent, and oh-so tolerant ones.

      Just my 2 cents…..

      • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

        Lee_,

        “Unlike my side”? Which side do you mean? Do you mean lesbians and gays are a monolithic minority group and since I am a lesbian therefore I can’t possibly be a fiscal conservative? And you claim to be a regular reader of my blog and yet you are so blatantly responding to a stereotype instead of to me?

        “We, unlike your side, are very accepting of people, as unlike your side, who demonize us for simply existing.”

        Actually, there ARE social conservatives who equate the being crime of homosexuality with the doing crime of murder. (I remember reading someone who said that, whom Kathy Shaidle gleefully linked, but I don’t remember the name of the person making that claim.) That is, being a homosexual is as evil as being a murderer. Personally, I think that is the very definition of demonizing someone for simply existing.

        Social conservatives are very busy actively destroying the lives of homosexuals through a death of a thousand cuts by blocking legislation that would guarantee our equality, thereby forcing us into second-class citizenship. They proudly do this even to their own family members. And they do not condemn social conservatives such as Randall Terry and Alan Keyes for throwing away their homosexual children.

        I hope you do read my blog more and that it helps you grow in your understanding so that one day soon you see your comment in a very different light. I am calling you to a larger good when I call for the support of conservatives for equality for homosexuals. Also, stop reading blogs that you consider nasty and hateful — even if you somehow think my blog matches that description — what you put your attention on grows stronger and reading those blogs is hurting you.

        Cynthia

        • Lee__

          I was actually responding to Tom…..

          • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

            Lee_,

            Thank you for the clarification. In WordPress when I am approving comments, I see the name of the post where the comment was made, but I don’t see any of the other comments to see the context of the other comments. I am sorry and I apologize.

            Cynthia

    • JTA

      “And if you think he was/still is, you’re a crackpot.”

      You see what loving, tolerant people you have left behind on the left ?

      I’m a lifelong Catholic Republican, Cynthia, and I most assuredly don’t want you dead. In fact, I welcome and admire you. Your romance story is very touching and moving. This is not a religion blog, and you don’t want my religious views. We don’t agree on that, but I welcome and admire you anyway.
      Great blog ! Lets all work together to throw the bums out in November !

  • http://conservativerainbow.blogspot.com/ Christopher Budden

    Cynthia,

    Y0ur response to Tom above was absolutely correct. People like Tom fail to realize is that the Democrats will do the same things to gay men and women as they’ve done to the black community–destroy it. Of course, there are Conservatives who, for religious reasons, have problems with gay men and women–but not all Conservatives are “religious righters” either. Many, like myself, are Libertarian Conservatives. Obama openly stated he believed marriage was meant to be between a man and a woman–besides which, I still don’t see the Democrats handing out marriage licenses to gays and they have the full control of government! Their only concern is increasing their grip on the population as a whole…minorities be damned! The Democrats CAN’T give minorities what they want–otherwise they would cease to be voting blocks for them. AND…marriage is a Conservative ideal! I’ve listened to TONS of Conservative talk radio over the last decade and I’ve heard just as many Conservative talk hosts approach the gay marriage issue from a fair perspective as I have those who for religious reasons don’t want it at all. The only thing guys like Tom will do by continuing to alienate Conservatives who do support us is make it even harder in the end to win our battle. Not only that–but, how many “liberal” fools do you hear trying to get gay men and women to have more self-respect for themselves rather than slutting around giving each other diseases–NONE. Because that would be making a judgement on “behavior” which liberals refuse to do. I HAVE heard Conservatives support gay men and women from rejecting that lifestyle of death–so, you tell me who’s more compassionate? Tom–stop drinking the Democrat kool-aid and grow a mind of your own–you don’t need to lose your freedom as an individual in the process of trying to obtain a marriage license.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Christopher,

      The discussion I heard of gay marriage at Conservatism 2.0 at CPAC on Saturday (2/28) was encouraging. What we have to do is find the reasons supporting gay marriage that are consistent with conservative principles and show our devotion to one another as couples and as families so people can see what we are really like. We are not represented often in TV shows or movies the way other minorities are, so people can’t feel like they’ve gotten to know us that way, so that means encouraging people to be out in their families, churches and communities — and workplaces, if possible.

      It’s worth noting that conservatives and Republicans have a record of being decent to lesbian families. I have it on good authority that Mary Cheney and her life partner were always treated as a couple at White House dinners they attended.

      And isn’t it funny I can name three conservatives with openly lesbian or gay immediate family members (former VP Cheney’s daughter, Newt Gingrich’s half-sister and Phyllis Schlafly’s son) and NOT ONE on the liberal Democrat side.

  • http://conservativerainbow.blogspot.com/ Christopher Budden

    P.S. What Tom the fool also fails to realize is that if we, God forbid, ever get government run healthcare in this country–gay men and women with AIDS will be the first to suffer! Because like other countries who have it–the government will start rationing healthcare to “cut costs”–which means the government will decide who gets what kind of care and for how long–and since there is no cure for AIDS as of yet–gay men and women who are dying will be allowed to die so they don’t drain the system. People who believe goverment can be compassionate are the biggest fools–government doesn’t make compassionate decisions it makes political decisions.

  • Bev

    This is my feeling regarding gay marriage. I did support it and even voted against prop 8 in California, but I don’t know if I’d vote to support gay marriage again. I am someone who has had relationships with both men and women (for 5 years with a woman), and most of my best friends are gay.

    I think the gay community should go after all the rights that marriage affords, which I would support, and keep the name civil union.

    For me it has to do with the continuation of our society and culture, birth rates, and how traditional marriage is part of the foundation and crucial to the continuation of culture. Birth Rates. Family values which are constantly under attack. Keep marriage as is, an example, of man, woman with children commited to raising family. Define gay unions as you want with all the same rights and let that be an example of an alternative lifestyle.

    I think they are different choice’s

  • Bev

    BTW, I love your pictures.

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  • http://www.hopelesslyflawed.com Heather

    Tom, shame on you for your comments on this post. She shared a very personal story and you responded like that? Ignorance.

    I am a very conservative Christian, and I have plenty of gay friends. Why wouldn’t I? Why is there an assumption that those are mutually exclusive things? More ignorance.

    Thank you for sharing, Cynthia. I am so sorry for your loss.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Heather,

      Thank you for your kindness and your condolences. I appreciate your response more than I can say.

      Cynthia

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  • Angela Middleton

    Cynthia,

    I am a Conservative, evangelical Christian. I don’t speak for all of us, but I can say that Tom is wrong about me. I do not hate you, dislike you etc. I am so sorry for your loss. Whether or not we have a disagreement, you loved your partner much in the way I loved my husband- and my heart breaks for you.

    The beauty of Christianity is that we are all sinners. We are all equal in our sinners, so I don’t fall into the crowd that “you will burn in hell”– because if you are then I am too. I have sinned too.. Christ came to offer ALL of us redemption. Only you and Christ know what is in your heart.

    As far as the marriage issue- My Christian faith says that marriage= man + woman, but state sanctioned unions are different. I would be okay with state sanctioned unions if they did not intrude on Church rights or parents rights, but so far in Massachusetts this has not been the case. If and when the state can guarantee that then I will march with you for gay unions. Until then, God Bless and keep you.

  • Vanessa

    Congratulations for p*ssing off the progressives by being a minority and a conservative. Individuality is something they can’t handle. As a gay, hispanic , conservative with MS, raised by FDR liberal parents, I feel a kingship twith you. Best of luck and don’t let them keep you down. :)

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Vanessa,

      Thanks for your comment. I hope you don’t mind my plugging Avonex for people with MS — it really did slow the progress of Margaret’s MS.

      Cynthia

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  • http://christianconservativecrafter.blogspot.com/ MissBetsey

    Cynthia,

    I am a Christian. I am one of those who believes that homosexuality is a sin, but I believe that it is no worse than adultery or lying. In this I seem to differ from so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ.

    After reading this post, I want to cry. I want to cry because I see you as being a lost sinner, just like the rest of us. I want to cry because so many people have disgraced Christianity by hating you. I want to cry because I understand how confusing the whole gay vs. straight debate is. And I want to cry because you lost the person you loved.

    Cynthia, I am sorry. I am sorry that Christians have disobeyed Christ by hating. Not just gays and lesbians, but anyone else who doesn’t subscribe to their particular belief. I am sorry that you are a lesbian. I am sorry that you lost your love.

    I still haven’t figured out what I believe on the gay marriage issue. But I don’t hate you, I love you, because Jesus loves you and me. I can’t change your mind, but I can treat you like a human being, and I can pray for you.

    Cynthia, thanks for coming over to our side, at least fiscally. :)
    ~MissBetsy

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  • Libby

    Hi Cynthia,

    Welcome to the minority. I am also gay, conservative, and guess what, I also believe in Jesus Christ. Who knew a person could actually be all three in one body and mind?

    Lovely pictures of you and your partner. Sorry that she suffered but I’m certain your love made the difference in her living.

    Miss Betsey, I don’t think you need to feel to sorry for people who are gay. It is only when other people treat gays badly, that there should be sorrow, and that is for the person who feels they have to dislike what they cannot understand. I’m sure your heart is in the right place.
    Your thoughts are heads and shoulders over those expressed by “Tom”.

    Best to all.

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  • http://freedomswings.wordpress.com Diane Student

    Wow, what a great tribute to your partner and your love! My partner and I have almost hit number 15. I’m glad you came over from the dark side and joined the rest of us self-hating conservative gays. It’s amazing what you discover when you apply common sense. I look forward to reading more of your blog – which will be much easier to accomplish by adding you to my blogroll!

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Diane (Freedom’s Wings),

      Thanks for putting me in your Blogroll! I am putting you in mine, I just clicked to follow you on Twitter and I hope you will follow me there, too — I’m @conservativelez.

      Also, I appreciate your kind words about Margaret and me — I wish you and your life partner every happiness and all prosperity and progress together.

      Cynthia

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  • Harry

    Great post. Greater story.

    Yes, some conservatives may not accept you because of your beliefs (their loss), but I am positive that you will find more acceptance and tolerance from conservatives/Repubs than you will now get from liberals/Democrats, now that you have defected. I think you will now feel some of what Justice Thomas gets for his choice of conservative beliefs. The feminist hatred of you may even rival that of Sarah Palin.

    Good luck and stay strong.

  • Mark

    Thank you for the touching story. I respect you greatly. I am sorry for your loss.

  • AceofSpademoron

    Good post on Letterman! AceofSpades morons loved it!

    Hopefully, Ace and you can bloglink each other up!

    We are glaad you are in our conservative/libertarian big tent! You two are a goodlooking couple!

    Your above poster is wrong on several levels, Pat Buchanan was not in Reagan’s cabinet and Reagan was VERY gay friendly, since the 60s! This has been pretty well documented by now. Some so called Christians who supported Reagan may have differed, but the Left has the Truthers as their millstone!

  • http://www.paconservativecouncil.com Amy

    Very nice blog! I believe that I saw you at CPAC in the Conservatism 2.0 session hosted by Pajamas TV. Welcome to the right.
    .-= Amy´s last blog ..From ‘Compromise’ to Chaos =-.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Amy,

      Thank you! Yes, I was at both sessions of Conservatism 2.0. For the first one, I came in shortly after Andrew Klavan, who was a panelist, told the audience conservatives would benefit from being more welcoming to lesbians and gays. I thanked him and made some comments. It was a lovely welcome.

      Cynthia

  • Jamie

    Cynthia,

    First let me say I’m sorry for your loss.

    Secondly, welcome to the dark side! I’m a lesbian also and I went from neoliberal to Classical Liberal when I was about 27 (39 now) because the cognitive dissonance was making my brain hurt.

    I love how our fellow gays and lesbians try to guilt us about being conservative, libertarian, or whatever. Maybe they’ll wise up and get off the plantation one day – they don’t get yet that the national Dems promise and promise but never deliver. Why? Because there aren’t enough gay votes to matter, so they don’t have to. But they give the appearance of giving a crap, because they’re the tolerant and progressive party *snort*.

    I just came across your blog tonight through Ace of Spades, but I’ll be checking back regularly. Take care.

  • Fred Baumann

    A 56-year-old- white Catholic male, I have long opposed gay marriage. Having said that, there can be no more eloquent, intelligent, heartfelt, and persuasive testimony on that subject than this magnificent and moving tribute to your life with Margaret and what you shared together. I was deeply touched by it; what I read here is most assuredly love — love no less than the love I feel for my own dear wife who has enriched my life and warmed every day of my past 28 years.

    Some of those who oppose gay marriage hate gays. I certainly do not. My first girlfriend back in high school later discovered she was a lesbian, and she was one of the finest and most affectionate human beings I’ve ever known.

    However, as a (former and admittedly undistinguished) Anthropology major, marriage is not about love or sexual satisfaction. As practiced — since time immemorial, in very different cultures all across the globe — it is fundamentally about procreation, lineage, property rights, and succession. It is intended to function chiefly to protect the interests of offspring. The sad truth that it cannot properly do so when immature, self-seeking, deceitful, or simply stupid adults enter into it unthinkingly does not vitiate the fundamental premises or purpose of the institution.

    I am for extending to monogamous gays who wish to formalize their loving unions every right and privilege enjoyed by heterosexuals in our society. But it is not marriage, nor does calling it that make it so, which is why I continue to oppose calling it by that name.

    I have enormous regard for you, and can’t wait to see what you continue to have to say, Cynthia. You have certainly made my day richer, and given me much to think about. As another former Socialist whose eyes also were opened by “facts and math” several decades ago, my very best wishes to you!

  • Sean

    How did a series of pictures get me to go all weepy?

    I would wager that if you put those pictures to some nice, touching music and post it on Youtube, you’ll probably open up a few thousand previously closed eyes.

    After that whole Prop 8 thing and the militant gay retaliation (only against Mormons, of course), I sorta gave up on caring about your cause.

    However, you’ll eventually get what you seek by trying to advance your ideas with positive, uplifting stories of love like you posted.

    The only question is: are there enough positive stories to counter-balance the militant “I want your centuries-old culture to change right now!” crowd.

    I don’t think there is, but that’s the road you must travel.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Sean,

      There are plenty of positive stories. I’ll be on the look-out to tell as many as I find — both from couples I find and from documentaries that already have been produced.

      Thank you for your suggestion about the video — I’ll have to use my One-on-One membership at the Apple Store for help — but you’re right, I should do it!

      Cynthia

  • http://www.lacegrl130.wordpress.com Dorothy Jane

    What a wonderful tribute. She was lovely and you are as cute as a button. We need to work as conservatives to scoop all of you up in a loving embrace. There is no reason you can’t have all the rights I have as a married straight person. None. I am putting you on my blog roll – I wish all conservatives would see the light, I know I did…
    .-= Dorothy Jane´s last blog ..It’s Time for a Fashion Plate!!! =-.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Dorothy Jane,

      Thank you! One of the commenters here suggested I turn the photos of Margaret and me into a slideshow video for YouTube so more people can see what a happy gay marriage is like. I have an appointment at the Apple store for tutoring next week, so stay tuned.

      Cynthia

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  • http://rightleftandthemiddle.com/blog Valerie

    I am sorry for your loss. Your story and pictures are beautiful. I am a conservative and a Christian, and while I don’t support gay marriage (I do support civil unions) I believe whole-heartedly that homosexuals are just as capable as heterosexuals of having loving and deeply committed relationships. This is quite evident of you and your Margaret. Which brings me to my point. I don’t think that most people who oppose gay marriage believe that homosexual relationships are not as loving or as committed as heterosexual marriages. The divorce rate alone doesn’t exactly give heterosexuals an edge over homosexuals in that respect. However, that doesn’t change the fact that marriage is defined as being between members of the opposite sex. Frankly, I would love to see the government get out of the marriage business altogether. I have no problem with having my marriage license reissued as a civil union license if it means that heterosexuals and homosexuals will be treated equally under the law. Love your blog, btw. It is on my blogroll.

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  • http://www.rositatheprolesnastylittlebloggingproblem.wordpress.com Loretta Buckley

    I was crying by the end of these photos. God bless you both. I’m putting you on my blogroll. I came here for the Fire David Letterman kit, and instead I got a glimpse of true love in its rarest form- domesticity.

  • Adagny

    Cynthia,

    I somehow found your blog through Robin of Berkeley at American Thinker. As I have traversed the path of political change myself I’ve become interested in the stories of other apostates who’ve made “the change” from the church of liberalism.

    As for Tom, he couldn’t have it more wrong. Admittedly there are those Christians who can’t accept gays, but the majority of conservatives I’ve met on my journey just want to be left alone, and don’t want the institutions they love messed with. As someone here said a while back, I too hope that gays, like blacks, will wake up and recognize the plantation they’re being kept on by the liberal Dems.

    Thank-you for sharing your beautiful story.
    …and the greatest of these is Love.

  • Fred Baumann

    When I posted opposing gay marriage more than a month ago, you had every right to respond as vociferously as you might wish. (This is, after all, your blog.

    You did not. I have since discovered that is not how you roll. In addition to the many fine characteristics you possess that I praised on June 15, you have more dignity, intelligence, charm and humor than any of your foes will ever hope to muster.

    You are also right about gay marriage: http://tinyurl.com/npbzft

    I was wrong. I see that now, and I apologize contritely and unreservedly. I hurt you, and for that I am sorry as well. As a fat white Catholic Republican man (whom male homosexuals still make uncomfortable, sorry to admit), my penance will be to do my level best to convince others of my ilk to see the light, too.

    Don’t keep yours under a barrel. Margaret would never want it that way … and, somewhere she’s certainly looking down at you, with a very proud smile on her radiant face.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Fred Baumann,

      I forgive you! Thank you for following this blog and for telling me of your conversion! :-) It takes greatness of heart and soul to have that insight and even more to admit it publicly.

      I haven’t checked the link in your comment, yet — I look forward to reading it.

      I have to admit that some commenters are hurtful and occasionally tempt me to put them down. However, I make an effort never to do that, first, because everyone who reads my blog and thinks of commenting will look to see how well others are treated, so I have a duty to treat everyone well. Second, I am aware of scientific research showing that it hurts people to see someone else get hurt, which means that if I am ever snide or hurtful to commenters who have been hurtful to me, even the people who read my comment and agree with me will be collateral damage — and I just can’t do that. Third, I look as deeply as I know how into the best and highest qualities my commenters display, which comprise our common ground, and I work from there.

      I don’t remember if you were the commenter who urged me to make a video for YouTube of my photos of Margaret and me, but I am indeed working on that.

      How kind of you to write and let me know of your new point of view! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

      Cynthia

  • Fred Baumann

    You’re welcome, dear lady. And — along with many others, I’m sure — I’ll be looking forward to that video, and have added your site to my “Favorites” so I won’t miss out!

    I’m well aware that I still have plenty to learn. However, as I pass my middle 50s , I am greatly encouraged to recognizew that, from time to time, I may still be capable of learning, too. Thank God for that!

  • http://www.conservativepup.com Conservative Pup

    What a lovely and special way to start my day. I was browsing another blog I had just discovered, Rosita the Prole, and saw yours on her blogroll. As a conservative Christian who was a liberal up until 9/11/01, and as someone with several gay friends and family members, I am very glad to find you.

    Yours and Margaret’s story and photos are beautiful and poignant, and I am reminded that love is the most powerful force in all the world. I have long believed that equality and acceptance for gays will come about not through marches and angry speeches, but through stories and living examples of love and devotion of couples such as you and Margaret, and the couples I know personally who have been together for 15, 20, 30, and more years.

    I decided several years ago that the Democrats will use any “group” they can to add to their voting base. But actions speak louder than words. When I saw Mary Cheney and her partner join all the rest of the Cheney and Bush families on stage when it was announced that Bush/Cheney had indeed won re-election in 2004, I knew that while individual conservatives hold prejudice against gays, the two most powerful conservative families at that moment were publicly including the gay members, without show, without any talk of “see how accepting we are?” They just walked the walk.

    I can’t tell you how sorry I am for your loss. You and Margaret were both so very lucky to find one another. She was beautiful, inside and out, and you are a lovely special woman.

    I applaud you, and wish you much success. Glad you’re on the side of “facts and math!”
    .-= Conservative Pup´s last blog ..The Professor, The President, And The Peace Officer =-.

  • Chris

    Well,

    I am not for gay marriage, I do not support it. The burning question I have however is, why is the STATE involved in defining ANY union between people. ALL STATE sanctioned unions should be abolished. Any contract between people of age should stand and be enforced by the courts, the courts should not determine WHAT is in the contract. If three men want to draw up a contract of survivorship to determine where their earthly goods go when they leave this earth – so be it.

    The trap that both the right and the left fall into is that ANY rule that you lay down to restrict “the other” will eventually be turned against you. I do not support Gay marriage BUT it is NOT the right of the state to enforce ANY union or define any relationship between people, people have the right to do things that I disagree with, just as I have the right to do things that they disagree with, and hold views that they disagree with.

    Freedom for everybody – no exceptions. I think that we can ALL agree with that.

    Chris

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  • Taryn

    You are a brave woman Cynthia. Beautiful pictures.

  • Bruce

    Cynthia,

    Thank you for sharing your love story and your thoughts. It’s people like you that make the world a better place to live.

    Cheers,
    Bruce
    an old straight white conservative guy [not that any of those characteristics are really important :-)]

  • Richard Yockey

    Cynthia,
    I’m out of it this evening, but always interested in learning more about Yockeys… Is this your maiden name… I am a conservative and have a lesbian daughter that I love very dearly… I’m 50 years old and learning to accept… Would love to learn more about your family and progression from Liberalism to Conservatism… Sorry I’m not more coherhet this evening.
    My family is originally from Monroe County, OH…
    Rick

  • Richard Yockey

    I don’t think I typed my email address correctly

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Richard Yockey,

      “Yockey” is my maiden name. I generally assume I’m related to everyone named Yockey, however distantly. I think our side of the family were colonists in Pennsylvania and conscientious objectors during the Revolutionary War, but grandma’s ancestor fought and was with Washington at Valley Forge when the fate of our young republic hung in the balance, the might of England on one side and the courage and tenacity of Washington and his soldiers on the other.

      Keep following this blog and read the early posts for more my progression from liberalism to fiscal conservatism. It’s a good thing that you are accepting that your daughter is a lesbian. It will bless you both more than you ever could know. She will have a much happier, productive and more moral life as a lesbian with your support. I am very fortunate to have had my family’s support and it has been a blessing all the way around.

      Cynthia

  • http://www.wrshpthekng.blogspot.com Teri

    Dear Cynthia,

    I found your blog through Hillbuzz and I just want to tell you how happy I am that you are part of the Republican party. The first comment on this post really disturbed me because I have been a conservative all of my life. I am also a pro life, Christian woman, so technically, I’m supposed to “hate” you and your “lifestyle”. But here is the thing…my beliefs are rooted in LOVE. To say I love God yet choose to live with hate in my heart toward other people He has created makes no sense at all! I am trying very hard to change the perception that all christians are haters. In fact, I’ve asked God to bring homosexuals into my life so that I can love you the way He loves you. I realize that christians deserve the reputation they have in the gay community–the majority of christians have employed hate instead of love. To be honest, I’m almost embarrassed to call myself one these days. I guess I just want you to know that there is a remnant of straight christians who aren’t judging people for who they love. Your partner was a beautiful lady and your devotion to her is a lesson of love for gays and straights alike. Thanks for sharing your story.
    With much respect,
    Teri

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  • Miriam

    Hey there -

    Just wanted to say ‘welcome’ to the conservative crazy quilt! There are lots of us who defy easy categorization. Btw, I’ve experimented with different ways to define myself to others and one of the ways that works for me is to state that I believe in the basic principles set out by the framers of the Constitution: limited government, free markets, individual freedom/responsibility and strong defense. That’s it. I would call that being a ‘Constitutional Conservative’ (though I’ve also called it a ‘Fundamendalist Conservative’ – which is fun cause it gets a rise out of people, until I explain that this is not the same thing as a ‘conservative fundamentalist’…. ;-). Anyway, also used ‘progressive libertarian conservative; libertarian leaning conservative…..
    So anyway – it’s interesting, fully 21-23% of gay men were polled as voting for Bush in his last election. However, I think that conservative lesbians are far less common. So, welcome again – I’m happy that you have found that the conservative tent is its own kind of rainbow….. And no, it’s not riddled with haters any more than any other political party. Btw, I grew up in a totally left wing family (my father – he should live till 120 – thinks that Nixon killed Kennedy and Jerry Garcia’s ‘heart attack’ was engineered by the CIA). I came to my positions as an adult who studied policy – international, domestic, etc. I currently live in DC and there are plenty of pragmatic, intellectual, policy-oriented conservatives here. Anyway, as evinced by the many posts above, even strongly-believing Christians are often loving and accepting – just not condoning – but they have the right to their beliefs, as do we.

    Regards – and yes, those pictures were beautiful. The last picture has to be the happiest I’ve ever seen someone who knew their time was drawing to a close… It was surely a testimony to the love she recieved.

    .

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  • Lone, Gay Eagle in Missouri

    Amazing comments from “liberals”, supposedly broad-minded, scorn-filled critics of you, Cynthia. I, too, am conservative and a gay female. It is liberals who absolutely don’t get it, give me most grief about being conservative, shun me, reap tons of hate in a mere discussion, and have flat out abandoned friendship w me (e.g. old college friends via Facebook) b/c I don’t fall in line with their decadence and idiocy. Conversely, Conservatives have extended acceptance to me contrary to stereotypes generated by liberals in this blog. I have encountered far more acceptance from them than from shallow, gullible liberals who stand for little, give only a cursory exam of the snake-oil of Bozo Obama, and I will not waste time attempting to explain why to such deaf ears. But I will say this. If one lives one’s life in a clean, informed, kind, bright vs. truth-seeking manner and extend themselves in friendship with awareness of others flaws and consequent acceptance of them anyway, one will usually encounter the same in return. If gays want acceptance, they need to assimilate to the majority’s pursuit of decency and quit offending, provoking with the in-your-face ranting, fascist Pride marching, vulgarity/profanity/public nudity, etc. Conservatives mainly do not care what your gender preference is. liberals: shut up about it already and get out of others’ faces. You’re really tedious.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Lone, Gay Eagle in Missouri,

      I agree with a lot of your comment, but I LOVE A PARADE! Seriously, I was a band geek in high school and LOVED marching band. When I wanted to resume playing in a band several years ago, I joined the D.C. Different Drummers for a few years playing the cymbals — since I play the bassoon and it is NOT a marching instrument — and we spent June marching in Gay Pride parades and July 4 marching in the Independence Day parade. I also love the Pride Day festivals. Frankly, straight people shove their sexual orientation in my face from every possible direction without ever worrying about whether or not I’m offended by being invalidated as a moral human being, regardless of how virtuous my behavior is, for the being crime of being a homosexual. Very few of them are ever worried about the destruction to gay and lesbian lives of being forced into second-class citizenship because the values of various religions have jumped the church-state separation and been enacted into law. So I think straight people can mind their own business on Pride Day while we have our parades and festivals.

      The rest of the year I do think the best way to garner support for obtaining first-class citizenship for homosexuals is assimilation and good behavior. But bear in mind that the religious organizations fighting our equality are doing so for reasons of greed and lust for power. The people who benefit from denying us equality will never change, so matter how well we behave.

      Cynthia

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  • A.O.

    Beautiful pictures. Will pass them on to my friends. We love sharing stories of who fell in love, when and why. Am glad for you both that you found true love.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Could not read thru the comments – too much ignorance, including sexual ignorance.

    Hope the best for you!

  • KC

    Hi Cynthia,

    Reading your and Margaret’s story and seeing these beautiful pictures has touched my heart so profoundly and in such a way like nothing ever has before. I don’t think a story has ever brought me to tears like this – not because it’s sad, but because it is just so beautiful and full of love! I don’t think I will ever be the same. Please write a book some day. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that “true love” really exists in this world, but your story epitomizes everything that true love really is. I’m sitting here bawling like a little baby! I’ve never even met you, but you and Margaret have changed my life. Her spirit absolutely carries on. I don’t know when the last time I was so inspired and optimistic about life. I will be following your website.

    Love, KC

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      KC,

      Thank you! I do want to write a book about Margaret — I’ve been worried no one would believe how absolutely wonderful she was, but comments like yours make me feel encouraged to take that chance.

      Cynthia

  • http://deathby1000papercuts.com Mondo

    Hard to argue with True Love–wherever it appears.
    .-= Mondo´s last blog ..Snappy Comeback to Pro-Abortion Advocates =-.

  • Monty

    Margaret: What a wonderful story. Sad but very touching. I hope you enjoy your new conservative lifestyle and don’t worry about all the haters, on the left and the right, they aren’t representative of the whole. It’s great to have you here on the Right side, though!

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  • Texmom

    You go, Cynthia!
    Great photos, and I’m so sorry for your loss.
    It is always refreshing to see someone who is true to what is right, despite community and peer pressures. I’m glad you have seen through things and I’m pleased you are on the conservative bandwagon.
    As you well know, there is good and bad in every area of life, but I am glad you have seen through the facade. Conservatives are human and make mistakes too, but I think most of us really want to follow the Founder’s path of what is best for this country and the cause of freedom. Unfortunately, it appears the left has decided to follow the Alinsky path, without allowing honesty to get in the way. You will know them by their fruits.
    Glad to have found your blog!

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Texmom,

      Thank you for your kindness. Once I finally understood what fiscal conservatism is, I immediately saw it is part of the conditions required for people to fulfill their full potential. I am going to work to explain it so other people who think that liberals/Leftists are the good guys understand that liberalism and Leftism are exactly what the late economist Friedrich Hayek said they are — “The Road to Serfdom” — in his book of the same name.

      Cynthia

  • http://hillaryrubin.blogspot.com Hillary Rubin

    WOW! Your story really moved me! You are lucky – you found the love of your life and what a journey you two went through!! You are truly and inspiration!
    .-= Hillary Rubin´s last blog ..Yesterday’s Mishegas! =-.

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  • Steven BMAA

    Tonite as I was preparing my dinner, and listening to Marc Steyn hosting the Rush Limbaugh program, I heard you call in, you indetified yourself and I had to stop, wash my hands and sit down in front of my laptop and listen…a “conservative lesbian”, hmmm, yes, I can relate…as I am a conservative gay man and I had to hear every word you had to say- and I then discovered you are a blogger too. I quickly opened a new tab and googled you. I had some difficulty finding your blog (I wonder why….??) I believe the Google people find us too rare and dangerous, maybe that’s why…anyway, I have been sitting here reading all about you, and so glad I was listening very closely this evening.
    The reason I say evening is because I listen to Limbaugh on live stream over the internet from his website each evening begining at 6pm…I live in Italy, work as a civilian employee for the US Navy.

    I have really enjoyed what I have found in your blog, and I will “favorite” it and come back often. I too find it irritating how the left has just expected gay people to “naturally” follow their edicts and agree with them…like we are robots they own. I think more and more gay people like us are beginning to realize the left is so wrong about how they take us for granted, as well as how they want to change the country.

    Thank you Cynthia, for being such an inspiration to so many. and I will be following your blog. Keep it up!

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Steven BMAA,

      Thank you! Also, I used to come up in the top one or two for the key phrase “conservative lesbian,” so I’ll have to see why you couldn’t find me easily and fix it.

      Cynthia

  • nancy cardinal

    Hi Cynthia,
    I heard you on Rush today. You did a really good job. So I decided to find your blog. I googled “conservative lesbians” and you were right there on top of the list. Your story about you and your partner is very moving.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      nancy cardinal,

      Thank you!

      Cynthia

  • Roy

    Over time, I’ve come to question the concept of marriage, gay or otherwise. It’s not because I’m some kind of hip Hollywood type that rejects all social norms and traditions, but because the libertarian in me bristles at the thought of government doling out licenses to codify my relationship with another person. So, while I’m sympathetic to the symbolism wrapped around the cause of gay marriage, it seems to me to be a bit of a fool’s errand.

    A previous post said “Freedom for everybody – No exceptions”. I couldn’t agree more.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      Roy,

      The quest for equality for homosexuals, including same-sex marriage, is not about symbolism at all. We want equality because that will give us the same legal structure, duties and opportunities as straight people. The state and federal laws concerning marriage create the structure for two persons to build their lives together and care for their children, if they have any (20 percent of homosexual couples have children). The General Accountability Office studied the number of federal rights and responsibilities associated with marriage and counted 1,138. An often-overlooked reason that marriage is one of the great socializing institutions of society is that the dream of marriage gives people the incentive to make the most of themselves to find a spouse and get married and then to keep it up in order to build a life together. Frankly, straight people need to value marriage a LOT more and one of the obstacles we face in getting same-sex marriage equality is straight people who don’t get what marriage does for their lives.

      Cynthia

  • http://artemisretriever.blogspot.com/ retriever

    A beautiful and inspiring love story, but I wept for you. I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that God will heal and comfort you, and that the knowledge that your story reminds all of us to cherish our loved ones may prove that no love is ever lost.

    I’m just another one of those straight conservative evangelical Christian middle aged wife-and-mommy types, immersed in my family and work, surrounded by people very similar to myself. Glad to know you a little better from this post of yours, and glad that (like myself) you outgrew your youthful flirtation and bad relationships with the left.
    .-= retriever´s last blog ..Some Random Political Associations =-.

    • http://www.aconservativelesbian.com Cynthia Yockey

      retriever,

      Thank you for your kind condolences. I gave thanks for Margaret every minute and told her every day she took care of me as much as I took care of her, or more, and that I thanked God for her in my life.

      Cynthia

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  • Alan Burnes

    Cynthia – I was simultaneously saddened to read of Margaret’s demise and thrilled to see that she is greatly loved. Small pain, great joy.
    I was on the CEG at MIU with her in 1978 and 1979.

  • sue

    I came across your blog on TheBlaze.com and have been utterly moved–not only by your love story, but by the generosity and acceptance of my fellow Libertarian/Conservatives. I have struggled a long while, caught in the middle of religious conservatives and progressive liberals without ever feeling like I truly belonged anywhere, while constantly being stereotyped as a “ignorant backwater righty”. I believe gays and lesbians deserve the same rights as straight people and no one should be judged soley on one aspect of their lives. I hope to see more gays, lesbians, blacks, Jews realize that the Democratic party is not their friend, and that conservatives are not the whites-only-all-others-go-home picture that has been painted of them. I look forward to reading you more often.

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