By denying our fellows Mainers the right to marry the ones they love, we deny them equality and acceptance within our society.

A vote against gay marriage is a vote for prejudice and hatred, no matter how people justify their decisions.

It’s a vote for teen suicide and depression, as students who are perceived as non-heterosexual are persecuted and alienated by their peers.

I’ve seen and experienced this first-hand, as a high school student. I volunteer my time with campaigns that support gay marriage, as I know with its passage the era of fear and prejudice that has plagued this state and country for generations will begin to fade.

I support marriage equality because I know not only is it the right and moral thing to do, but it is the way forward for our society. Our nation is not and has never been a theocracy. Religion doesn’t define our society or laws, common sense and logic does. Thank God for that.

As a nation, we must strive to be a bastion of freedom and equality that the world may look on and be inspired by.

I dream of a day where prejudice and hatred are but footnotes in history, studied and reviled by students like myself. I dream of a world where any person of any background or birth can be not only accepted by society but be loved for their humanity and diversity.

Voting yes for gay marriage will take us one step closer to this world of freedom and equality. Voting no will reinforce children’s prejudice against those who were born different, and continue to define generations to come with acts of great social and legal injustice.

Please help Maine become the first state to pass gay marriage by popular vote.

Matthew Raymond

Augusta

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