Many years ago, I picked up a few extra dollars while working evenings at a major grocery chain in affluent McLean, Va. I worked with a young veteran who was friendly but reluctant to discuss his personal life. He did share that he could not get married, which seemed strange to me at the time.

As he became more comfortable with me, he said that he lived with a partner and was very much in love, but that state laws would not allow him to marry. I was puzzled, and he explained that people felt that it was not allowed according to the Bible, and if allowed, it would undermine all legitimate marriages.

He had to keep his relationship secret, and was careful not to let anyone know where he lived, because there had been threats.

That was how someone was being treated after serving his country for three years, helping to ensure freedom and equality for citizens.

It didn’t seem right then, and it doesn’t seem right now.

I should explain that neither that man nor his partner were gay. He was a black male and his partner was a white female, but the same old, tired reasons that were used then to prevent marriage between different races are being used today to prevent same-gender marriage.

It is time to end all forms of discrimination.

Ellis McKeen, West Gardiner


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