UPDATE: Milo and I, along with the rest of Florida’s LGBT community, are extremely upset with the new Bondi ploy.  We do however, have complete faith that Equality Florida and it’s resources are doing everything they can.  We are with you ALL THE WAY.

Milo and I fall into the group that fears, due to our age (Milo is 66 and I am 61), we have so much at stake and we may not have the rights we need in time.  Social Security, healthcare and pension rights would impact us tremendously.  Should something happen to either of us, the remaining spouse would not have the financial resources to continue.

We have been fighting the good fight for a long time and, as you know, time is of the essence.

image14LOVE STORY: My name is Bill Welch. I am a child of God and I am also gay. In that order, my walk with Jesus Christ is most important to me. Next of importance is my lifetime walk with my partner Milo Hoffman, the love of my life.

I have never loved anyone as much as I do Milo. We have been faithfully together since July 20, 1984. Neither of us was given a choice about being gay. There was no box that we checked that put that label on us. We are who we are, with all of our perfections and imperfections because that is how our loving God made us. I am proud of, and have no shame for being, the person that I am.

I write this in part as an affirmation of my life but also to let the world know just how much Milo means to me. I have NEVER met another human being like Milo. Milo is the kindest, gentlest, least judgmental, caring, understanding, self-less, giving and most loving person I have ever met. I feel that I have been blessed by being able to partner in life with such a wonderful person. This is an unrivaled gift from God.

I know how fortunate I am to have a life with Milo, which I never take for granted. I love Milo almost as much as life itself and know that he feels the same. We travel this life being each other’s biggest cheerleaders facing a world that says our love is wrong. I would lay down my life for Milo and know that he would lay down his for me.

Together, we have faced some of life’s greatest challenges and experienced some of life’s greatest joys. Our love is a lifetime love, a love that some people never have the chance to experience. I don’t take our love lightly for while I know it is strong, the world in which it exists is fragile. We have, and will continue to endure and prosper, in spite of the judgments and hatred thrown at us by society. The Grace of God has made this so.

With all of my heart I thank the friends in our world that have shown their support for the journey that Milo and I are on. Equally, I forgive those who choose to mock, belittle and with hatred, try to take something that is so beautiful and say it’s wrong.

We are strengthened in life’s journey because we continually ask God to give us the serenity to accept the things which we can’t change, the courage to change the things that we can and most importantly the wisdom to know the difference.

We are proud to share that we were married this past September, in our state of origin, Connecticut and that we were married September 11th to honor my parents as this was their wedding day. Health permitting, we both look forward to a continued beautiful life filled with the joy of Friends and God’s blessings.

Thank you God, for the gift of Milo.