I live no differently from the way my neighbors live. I eat, I sleep, I work to provide; yet because of my sexuality I am segregated, stereotyped and treated as though I'm not a citizen in my own country or a resident of the state I was born in.
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I live in a place where most call "home," a place where most feel "free." I reside in Anchorage and was born and raised in Juneau, but I still can't call this place home. For 25 years I've been walking on the same ground everybody else walks on - breathing the same air everybody else breaths and abiding by the same laws that were made up for American citizens. But I don't have the right to go in front of a judge and sign a legal document and exchange vows with the person I love and want to spend the rest of my life with. I go to work to provide for my family. I work long stressful hours, but my partner can't receive the benefits I work hard for and that a husband or wife can offer each other.
There are so many other issues to be addressed and possibly can be resolved with the time and money spent on an issue that is of an importance equal to none. These funds could be spent on bettering the schools for our children and our future. But we want to try to decide whether or not a person has the right to be legally bound for life to somebody he or she loves. Why should there even be an issue of what one citizen is doing within their family and private romantic lives?
Segregation and racism was expelled from our country years ago and is illegal today. Nevertheless, same-sex partners are segregated and treated as if we're not citizens of the United States. Sexuality is a trait of our lives that one single person has to live with and nobody else. As long as all laws are being obeyed, any and all citizens should be allowed to live their private romantic lives as they wish, whether it be a same-sex partnership or one of one man and one woman.
Cecelia D. Williams
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