Good afternoon Senator Bliss, Representative Priest and members of the
My name is Jarad Platt; I live in Farmington and I am here to urge you to
support LD 1020. I am speaking for myself.
I am a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LADC) employed by the Maine
Office of Substance Abuse as a Treatment Specialist; I am Coordinator of
Substance Abuse Treatment for the adult Maine State Prisons, the Maine Adult
Drug Treatment Courts and the Maine Co-occurring Disorders Courts.
My partner is Daniel Gazette. Danny is an Administrative Assistant. We are
registered as Domestic Partners in Maine and have been together for 34 years.
we both work full time jobs, pay local, state and federal taxes, own a home
and autos, support charities, and are integrated into the Farmington
We have supported each other through the critical illness of Danny's mother
and the death of his father. My mother lived with us for 16 years and died at
age 96 last month. When mother knew she was close to passing, she wrapped her
arms around Danny's neck and whispered to him: "I want you to take
care of Jarad for me."
I was caretaker for Danny as he went through cancer of the larynx surgery
and radiation treatments and then a heart attack. Danny was caretaker for me
when I had a ruptured colon and the attendant surgeries, and a nearly fatal
kidney failure and congestive heart failure. We are both fully recovered.
Our lives have always been inclusive of intense family relationships.
Mother was a lifelong Baptist. Her faith and religion was not in a box. I
didn't come out as a gay man until I was 35. My father had already passed, my
mother immediately accepted me.
Danny was kicked out of the Army for being gay. Danny's dad, George, didn't
understand homosexuality when Danny came out to his family, so they had a
tenuous relationship for a few years. At Danny's sister's wedding George gave
his daughter $500; he gave Danny $10 and told him he'd get the rest when he
got married. Danny told his dad he had just saved $490.
The second Christmas we were together at Danny's parents' house, his mother
and father were so excited. George got out his camera, Danny's mom could
hardly contain herself. Danny opened his gift, which was 2 pairs of socks. We
were both confused by the excitement of his parents. Then Danny saw the corner
of a piece of paper under one of the socks, and took out a check for $490.
That was love and acceptance.
My hope is that this committee and the entire Senate and House can see what
George saw -- love and commitment worthy of marriage. Danny's mom called
Monday to say she hoped that this bill would pass, that "you guys deserve
I love Danny with all my heart, a love that has grown over the years we
have been together. Danny tells me the same. I want my relationship with Danny
to be honored. He and I are honorable people and their is no reason our lives
and love don't qualify for marriage.
Please support LD 1020.
Thank you. 1
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