ARIZONA REPUBLIC: THIS IS THE RUSH ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY

I read an Arizona Republic editorial about how there shouldn’t be a rush on gay marriage in this state. I submitted a “Letter to the Editor” regarding the matter, but had to cut it to adhere to their word limit. The entirety of the letter is as follows: 

I am horribly disappointed in the editorial board for the recent editorial titled “Why the rush with same-sex marriage.” While I understand the board’s position about creating lasting social change – it’s pretty clear that the board doesn’t understand the importance of marriage equality. 
Let me explain. I am a gay 27 year old. I have grown up in the middle of this same-sex debate. I am what the editorial board called an “inpatient activist.” And maybe I am inpatient. Growing up as a gay man during this debate has been hard. Coming out during all this was hard. And I came from a loving, accepting family! 
This issue needs to be settled here in Arizona because no more kids should feel like they are second-class citizens. I did. And still do. Already teen suicide rates are higher among gay kids than any other population. We shouldn’t continue to wait to affirm these kid’s future relationships. In 2004, more state than ever banned gay marriage. The following year, gay teen suicide rates spiked. Should these kids continue to feel as less than? They are dying as we wait. 
A few weeks ago the Arizona Republic shared an article about the first legally married same-sex couple in Arizona. One of the partners had died waiting for their rights. I am sure the partner who died would have rather enjoyed seeing their rights affirmed by the state. Instead, he died waiting. He never saw a day when his marriage was recognized by the state. He shouldn’t have had to wait. 

And I shouldn’t continue to have to wait to marry the man I love. Sure, we can go to California, and my partner and I have discussed this. But both of us want to be married in the state we were both raised in. It’s tiring having to pay higher state taxes, or having to provide documentation that I am his family when I needed to see my partner in the hospital. I’m tired of waiting. I’m tired of explaining. And I tired of the debate. 
Marriage equality is probably coming to Arizona. And not one more gay teen should feel they are less than as we wait for this probable reality. Not one more should kill themselves because they feel so belittled by this state’s inability to legalize marriage equality. And not one more couple should have to wait for equality or death. Marriage equality is important because no child, no partner, no one should be treated as a second-class citizen. Shame on the board for not understanding this. 

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