As any serious student of U.S. history should know, this country was founded on secular principles allowing a wide diversity in religious beliefs and practices. This was the first nation to have no official state-endorsed religion.
I respect those living according to their religious tenets but disagree there is any right to impose those upon others. I wonder from where comes the belief that we should all vote on the fundamental rights of others.
My partner of 53 years and I have lived almost eight decades as marginal citizens, denied the equal protection of the laws as provided in the U.S. Constitution. We have, however, loved and served this country and our community as good citizens by every measure. We worked for equality and social justice for everyone even as it was withheld from us.
We have been committed to each other through good and bad times and taken care of each other in sickness and health. I take care of my severely disabled partner and have since a stroke in 2006 and will continue to do so for as long as we live and I am able to do so.
We are a couple, and life without the other is unimaginable for either of us. It should not be surprising that we want the same recognition and respect that comes with a state-issued marriage license. It is the final piece to recognition as full and equal citizens in our own country and perhaps our final wish.