Dear Angelo,

I, like 27% of other gays, voted for McCain. I have no desire to get married and I don't understand what all the fuss is about. I mean being gay was built on sexual freedom. So why should I want to fight to be a part of a failed, oppressive, heterosexual institution like marriage? Isn't that going backwards for the gay movement? I'm curious to know if you think gay marriage represents progress, or if it's "straight acting" vis-a-vis your book?

Signed, Marriage Maverick

Dear Marriage Maverick,

Gay Marriage is a battle for all Americans -- Democrat or Republican, gay or straight, whether you want to get married or not -- to uphold the ideals of our nation. This fight isn't about marriage at it's core. It's about equality -- ensuring equal civil rights for everyone. Even if you don't want to get married, you should have the option, and be able to decide that for yourself. 

The following words from the Declaration of Independence are perhaps the most influential words ever put on paper

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness..."

America was founded upon this notion, and has subsequently become the most cherished symbol of freedom around the world. To guarantee those ideals and prevent prejudice against any non-majority group, our country was built upon the separation of church and state. In order to preserve that intention, we have to be sure our laws uphold the US Constitution (the legal basis for the Declaration of Independence), not the Bible.

State Supreme Courts exist to uphold State Constitutions, ensuring everyone is protected equally. It's an outrage that any group's civil rights can be taken away by a statewide majority vote after being granted by it's highest court. Frequently the land's highest court (US Supreme Court) has acted against individual states and popular opinion -- ending slavery, granting women's rights, Black Civil Rights, inter-racial marriage, etc. -- to uphold what's right -- advancing civil liberties and rights according to the US Constitution. This is why it's essential that the Federal Government or US Supreme Court act to protect gay people so they can't be discriminated against state by state by favored bigotry.

I attended a national rally this past Saturday. It was inspiring to see so many gays mobilized again to gather in the spirit of previous protests like Stonewall, the assassination of San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk, Marches On Washington, AIDS, Stonewall 25, and Matthew Shepard. I saw moving signs that read "I have a dream too," "Now it's time for me to vote on your marriage," and "Stop H8."

This is our second Stonewall. No more Mr. Nice Gay! We are not second class citizens. We don't have to hate the haters, but we can harness our power and fight peacefully against the oppression of any group in the United States Of America, namely ourselves. Now is our time. Yes we can, and yes we will.

All The Best, Angelo.

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