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Ken Story, Fargo, Published April 07 2013

Letter: It’s life, not just a social issue

The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 went to the Supreme Court of the United States, and one way or another, history-making decisions regarding gay marriage will be made. On Facebook and Twitter, there is heated discussion on both sides of this social issue, but there is one thing that needs to be cleared up.

I see the word “choice” being thrown around as much as one would see in a “personhood” debate, and I want to make one thing perfectly clear to anyone who is reading this: Being gay is not a choice. As I write this, I am most certainly proud of who I am as a gay man. However, it would be a flat-out lie if I said that given the choice, especially during my continual and sometimes painful process of coming out, I would not have considered changing my sexual orientation to make my life easier.

It is simple: We want equality. Marriage, benefits, protections, family, love and an over-the-top celebration are what we are asking for because we are no different than you. Personally, I am not in love or certain of many things in my future, but one thing I am certain of is that I would make amazing contributions to society as a husband and even as a parent. That feeling is reaffirmed by my friends who are in same-sex relationships whose love and commitment to one another inspires me every day.

To those of you on the political forefront and out in public advocating for marriage equality, I want to say thank you. To those who are unsure or oppose marriage equality, I hope that you take at least one thing from my letter. To some of us, this is much more than a social issue. This is life.