Imagine you have fallen in love with the person of your dreams, and the two of you have discussed it and have decided to get married. Now imagine that the person you wish to marry is of a different race. It wouldn’t be a big deal, right? Well, if this situation had occurred about 50 years ago, it would have been a huge deal. Just a generation ago, many states banned mixed marriages. Seems absurd, doesn’t it? Discriminating against an individual like that because of the color of their skin? This is a situation in America that I am sure all of you are familiar with, and most all of us I am sure agree that just because a person has different colored skin does not make them any different on the inside. We don’t discriminate against minorities because of their color of their skin, so why is it that we now discriminate against gays and lesbians because of what is in their hearts? It is the same type of discrimination, and it needs to be stopped. How do we go about doing that, you ask? Don’t worry, I am not going to be unrealistic and ask you to become a gay-rights activist and make supporters of all of your friends and family. I am just going to ask you to do your small part to help give homosexuals the ability to marry. It is unfair to deny them this right, and together we need to act in order to give them this right, this equality, that they deserve.
As I have told you all in my last two speeches, there are legal rights and benefits that come with marriage that homosexuals are being denied. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, many of the benefits of marriage that homosexuals are denied include: government benefits like Social Security and Medicare; hospital visitation rights; special rates and exemptions on tax returns; joint child custody; joint insurance policies; automatic inheritance in the absence of a will; making medical decisions on a partner’s behalf; and choosing a final resting place for a deceased partner. While none of these are reasons to get married, they are all benefits and perks that homosexuals should not be denied simply because of their choice of a partner. They are rights that homosexuals are entitled to and deserve, and are rights that they would be able to benefit from if same-sex marriages were legalized. When you put yourself in their shoes, as I have had you do in my past speeches, it is clear to see that they deserve these rights as much as heterosexual couples do, and that their choice of partner should not affect these basic rights.
I am sure you are all still asking yourselves just how YOU can make a difference. Well, you could become active in a gay-rights group, you could organize a rally in Red Square, you could even collect signatures and attempt to gain enough support to put the issue on the ballot for the next elections. But let’s be realistic here. We are all students, and are busy with the stress of finals and even graduation for some. The minute that school ends, all we are going to be thinking about is laying out in the sun, taking advantage of three months (or even the rest of your lives) without homework. So who has the time or energy to do any of the things I just suggested? That is why I am just going to ask you to become a supporter by signing a document called the Marriage Resolution. This is a resolution formed and monitored by a group called The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. The marriage resolution, according to the Partner’s Task Force for Gay and Lesbian Couples, reads as follows: Because marriage is a basic human right and an individual personal choice, RESOLVED, the State should not interfere with same-gender couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitment of civil marriage. According to Evan Wolfson, the Director of the Marriage Project of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, the resolution is aimed to: help promote the