It's Thanksgiving season and I've been inspired by all the Facebook posts from my friends about being thankful. This week, since my parents were just here and in light of the upcoming vote on Referendum 74 in Washington, I am thankful that my parents helped me form the views I have today on marriage equality.
When I was six years old we had friends come to visit from Cananda. Before they arrived I overheard my parents tell someone that these friends were gay. Later, I asked my dad what it meant to be gay. I remember his response as clear as day; he said "Oh, it just means a woman who would rather be married to another woman. Or a man who would rather be married to another man." That simple explanation was the basis for how I understood what it meant to be homosexual as I was growing up. You can imagine my shock and outrage when I was old enough to understand that gay people did not actually have the right to be legally married. How could something so simple and yet such a fundamental right of adult life be denied to certain people simply because their biology led them to prefer one sex over another?
There is no difference between the love and commitment I share with Ryan and the love and commitment two people of the same sex might share with each other. Religion doesn't belong in the legal definition of marriage because there is a difference in our country between civil and religious marriages; every married couple has the choice to have a religious marriage or not. Mine is not religious. And until any two adults in this country have the right to choose the same path Ryan and I did, we do not have marriage equality.
Please get out and vote if you haven't already - you can make a difference!