This I Believe

John - 90755, California
Entered on September 7, 2006

I believe in equality. That’s why I believe in same-sex marriage.

My brother has met the love of his life and is going to get married later this year. I have the great honor of being his best man at the wedding. But I met the love of my life over five years ago; and the fact is: unlike my brother, I cannot marry the person I love because he’s another man. My lover and I want the civil right to marry, which a man and a woman enjoy as American citizens and we, as two men, do not. That’s not equality. Speaking for most gay and lesbian people, I’m sure, I would like our society to acknowledge our relationship and support us in our desire to be monogamous, responsible and stable. Our loving relationship and family need the protection that marriage affords. We deserve equal rights under the law.

Although our country was founded on the self-evident truth that all [people] are created equal, as a gay man I haven’t always felt equal. But life and time have brought home the facts to me. I’ve learned that we all share basic wants and needs; that it’s human to fall in love and want to marry. After witnessing the loving relationships of so many wonderful, responsible gay friends, and feeling the deep love and commitment my lover and I have for each other, and learning to love myself, I know that a man loving another man or a woman loving another woman is good. Love is love. We homosexuals are equal to everybody else. Our committed relationships are equal too and they don’t take a back seat to anyone’s.

Same sex marriage may be a new, even uncomfortable idea for many Americans, although Canada and several European countries have already embraced it. Massachusetts has same-sex marriage, and many churches acknowledge the equality of our relationships. I can’t see any legal, logical reason why two men or two women shouldn’t be allowed to marry. That’s why I’m working so hard for same-sex marriage. Just in the previous century we had the injustice of Jim Crow in this country, women didn’t have the right to vote and it was illegal for inter-racial couples to marry. We’ve fought many rigid and prejudiced laws and achieved a lot of social progress. And now we find that there is a new inclusive, enlightened concept of marriage spreading among progressive countries and among open-minded people. It’s a just and a fair idea, and it will not destroy marriage or our country, like I hear some people saying.

I believe that we must embrace same-sex marriage in our country. It’s a question of civil rights. It’s the right to marry the person you love. Who wouldn’t want the same thing if he or she were in my shoes? I believe in same sex marriage. I see it as our gift of equality for all of us and for future generations.