BY Ross von Metzke

December 08 2009 7:10 PM ET

In the piece you wrote for The Huffington Post , you write. "If I really want to, I'll just get a civil union or have a commitment ceremony.
Because they're just as good, aren't they?” Some people argue that it’s
really all about the word — that if we took the word marriage out and
just fought for the rights, we’d win. What’s your take on that?

Marriage
is clearly a legal contract. If it had nothing to do with the state or
the law, you wouldn’t have to go get a marriage license. You wouldn’t
have to have someone who is legally allowed to marry people marry you;
you could just go get a priest to marry you. This is a legal matter. We
need to change the lingo. To call it gay marriage makes people think of
stereotypes they aren’t familiar or comfortable with. To call it marriage equality and make it more inclusive, I think people would
embrace it a bit easier. Some people will never embrace it, but some
might change their minds if we change the language. Legal marriage is
legal marriage, and it should be for everyone. It’s not just a
religious institution. It’s a local, federal, legal issue ... so no, we
shouldn’t take the word marriage out of it. Marriage is marriage.

Is
there a moment you can think back to in which you went from being a
supporter of marriage equality to an activist for marriage equality?

I
started volunteering little by little with the Empire State Pride
Agenda about a year ago. Having gay friends and having to listen to
them say, “Well, I’m as married as I can be” or “I don’t know what to
call him.” Having friends who are in relationships say, “Well, we can’t
get married in New York, so we’re going to another state.” That’s
ridiculous. What really got me was last Wednesday, my friend’s fiancé
on Facebook posted, “New York just reminded me I’m a second-class
citizen.” That angered me, and it broke my heart. To have people
actually think that really bothers me so much. All of my friends have
supported me over the years. Nobody is a second-class citizen, but this
is how it comes off, and I refuse to accept that.

There is a
chance that eBay might yank this listing — they’ve yanked listings of
this sort before. What do you ultimately hope happens with this
listing ... what is your overall goal?

If somebody could read this
and change their mind — their misconceptions could be changed or fixed — that’s what I want. I want people to see this for what it is. We
aren’t making anyone change their religion. We’re not asking churches
to do anything. People are so set in their ways with churches ... that’s
fine for them, but this has nothing to do with that. Some churches will
refuse it and some will start to accept it. This is legal protection.
If people would just realize this is a civil issue and a legal issue
and not a personal church issue, they might think differently about it.
Some people will never budge on this, but if one person does, my work
is done.






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