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First off, I'm a straight man. A few years ago when President Bush sought to amend the Constitution to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman, I was a staunch supporter. I wrote to my elected officials, Sen. Jim Talent and Sen. Kit Bond, and asked them to support it too. At the time I belonged to the Eastern Jackson County Young Republicans and we were heavily involved in the movement. We wrote our representatives, signed petitions, and did whatever we could in order to show support. I knew that it was a long shot, and I was right: Nothing came of it.
In 2004 my home state of Missouri took matters into its own hands and passed legislation to put a statewide ban on gay marriage on the primary ballot that August. Of course, I voted for the ban. The ballot measure passed with an overwhelming 71% in favor, 29% against. I was ecstatic.
A lot has changed in my life since then. Mainly, I met and fell in love with a girl I met online. I believe that in every person's life there is a person that helps change the way he or she looks at life. In my case, she is that person. Until we met I didn't know what it was like to love somebody or to be loved. Now that I know (and it's such a great feeling), I want to be with her for as long as possible. If I was told that I wasn't allowed to be with her, for any reason, I would be devastated.
When I walked into the voting booth on August 3, 2004, I wasn't thinking about that because I didn't know what love felt like at the time. Now that I do know, I regret my actions.
I'm sorry that I helped make it impossible for two people of the same sex to show their love and commitment to each other in the form of marriage. And while I can't go back and change the past, I can make a difference in the future. What I have learned from all this is to keep an open mind about things. It's easy to pass judgment; the hard part is accepting.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Never before have I felt my words actually meant something to someone. It truly is an honor.