Marriage equality: Please give me your approval to be legally married to my husband, Patrick.
  • Petitioned MArriage equality

This petition was delivered to:

MArriage equality
Florida Governor
President of the United States
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Florida State Senate
Florida State House
Florida
Gov. Richard Scott
Florida
Sen. Marco Rubio

Marriage equality: Please give me your approval to be legally married to my husband, Patrick.

    1. Matthew Layden
    2. Petition by

      Matthew Layden

      Pensacola, FL

This is an important issue because my heart breaks every time I hear about the struggles of the gay youth, most disturbingly, the amounts of suicides. They do not want to be themselves because they fear they will never get married, start a family, and be disowned by not only family and friends, but with their fellow Americans. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ask the approval from your fellow Americans to get married to the one you love? Do I have your blessing? Will my marriage make yours any less? My partner and I were legally married in New York City in August of 2011. It is not legal in our home state, Florida, which still considers us to be single individuals in the same house. Patrick and I love each other very much, know we are soul mates, and are fully out with complete acceptance from our families. We are ok with it; our families are ok with it; our friends are ok with it; and our jobs are ok with it. Why do we need permission from people we have never been associated with before? Please help us receive your approval and show the nation that there is nothing wrong with being recognized as a loving couple by our state and government. This can help the gay youth embrace themselves for who they are, realize they can still live a life filled with hope, and reduce the number of the horrific suicides by eliminating another societal negative associated with being themselves, gay. Pretending to be straight can also have other devastating outcomes. It can break the hearts of their future families they create, if they realize their parent/spouse lied to them their entire life and cause much emotional, financial, and possibly physical pain, or even worse, death. By accepting the gay community for who they are, we can stop destroying all of these hearts and lives. Please help become a part of the solution to protect all of our fellow Americans.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. 200 Signatures and Contact from Politicians

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      We have reached 200 signatures! Please keep sharing. I have been contacted by several politicians. Some willing to help, some opposing our stance. I really want those opposing politicians to see that there are many people that believe in equality. Let's keep up the support for those who badly need to hear our voices!

    2. Reached 200 signatures
    3. Great Job Sharing Your Views

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      We past the 150 signatures, and there are some amazing views being shared that will help people understand why it is ok to love regardless of how others may view their relationships. I believe someone would feel comforted after reading all of the support that people across the country are posting. This is really amazing, and I am impressed with the levels of compassion. I look forward to reading about more views and opinions. Great group of people.

    4. The next milestone!

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      In order to continue with the petition, we need to reach 200 signatures. I know we can do this!

    5. 100 Signatures!!!

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      We hit the 100 signature marker. This is astonishing to me. What surprises me most is the short amount of time that it took. This is an accomplishment. Let's not stop here. The more signatures, the more serious our voice will become. I believe our progress can go far. Please understand the importance of sharing. Sharing is just as important as signing. We need people that share our views of equality to discover the petition. I must say that every one of you is absolutely amazing. Your compassion for other humans is significant. The Senator (Marco Rubio), Governor (Rick Scott), and President Barack Obama will all receive e-mails about this cause. Like I said before, they need more signatures to believe that this is a serious matter. I will continue the fight, and I hope that I will continue to receive your support. Every one of you is awesome and has shown people that they are accepted and can live a happy life. Thank you.
      Mat

    6. Reached 100 signatures
    7. What a surprise! We are almost at 100 signatures!

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      This is amazing to me. We are right next to 100 signatures in our first day. This is some major progress. There is no words to explain how crucial this support is needed for those out there who feel they have no future. Every single one of you are telling them that there is hope and acceptance for people just like themselves. You are saying that being gay is not the end of their life. They can accomplish their goals and dreams. I feel overwhelmed with the support that is being shown and the kind words being expressed. This keeps gives me a stronger fire to fight and to continue fighting for everyone who feels lost, scared, alone, and confused. Your support is a great example of the human heart. Thank you so much.

    8. Wow! The signatures have doubled in a short span of time!

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      This is a great sign! We passed the 50 mile marker, which means we are halfway to the first goal already. This is amazing. Please do not lose the momentum. Remember, sharing is as important as signing. I am very proud of the positive feedback that is coming in too. I feel great knowing we have fellow Americans and friends that hold a willingness to share. This is wonderful everyone!

    9. Reached 50 signatures
    10. Milestone within a couple hours!

      Matthew Layden
      Petition organiser

      We are at 25 signatures right now. The first goal is to break 100. I am still waiting to get a call back from the senator or governor about the number of signatures we need to be taken seriously. I can honestly say that I know it will require thousands of signatures. I am very optimistic about our capabilities. It takes a moment for this information to spread like wild fire, but the signatures are starting to come from friends of my friends. We can definitely get there. Just need some time. Please keep sharing and be very assertive about the signatures. I believe that we all can be a part of recognized change. Keep up the good work. Thank you.
      Mat

    11. Reached 25 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • EUGENE RAMIREZ SAN ANTONIO, TX
      • 9 months ago

      A letter by Eugene Ramirez

      http://www.facebook.com/eugeneramirezjr

      THE RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY OF HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE EQUALITY OPPONENTS

      HETEROSEXUALS have a 50% divorce rate (I thought marriage was "sacred"?), STRAIGHT women commit murder through abortion at a rate of 1 out 3, HETEROSEXUALS DEFY God's "Ten Commandment" to not "commit adultery," 1 out 5 Women are raped/sexually assaulted by STRAIGHT MEN in their life, HETEROSEXUALS have MULTIPLE marriages (even though they took a vow in front of God 'until death do us part' ...that is, not 1st married, 2nd married, 3rd married, etc.), they marry for wealth/opportunity and for other UN-Christian reasons, 50% of STRAIGHT teens have engaged in oral sex by age 18 (PRE-MARTIAL sex is AGAINST many religions!), and 40% of kids are born "out of wedlock" to UNMARRIED heterosexual parents!

      But, I won't judge "straight people" because I don't believe in judging ANYONE. Further, the opponents sure like to detract from all of THEIR "sins," as a heterosexual group and try to point their finger at me, a gay dude, but before pointing the finger at me, they clearly have LOT to fix within their own heterosexual group! Their hypocrisy is as clear as the light of day. Further, religious persecutionists essentially claim that they worship a God which hates, divides, and is against equality. Thank goodness I don't support "their God." MY GOD, supports ALL Americans (and all persons around the world) no matter who they love, the color of their skin, their faith, or gender, and I celebrate equality and love not religious hate and persecution.

      A HISTORY OF RELIGIOUS DEATH, PERSECUTION, AND HATE

      Moreover, the bible has lead to the slaughter of more people than any and all was combined "in the name of God," the bible has lead to the persecution of Jews for the last ONE THOUSAND years, the bible has been used to prove that Whites can OWN Blacks as slaves, and now ignorant individuals want to get involved in my sex & love life and use the bible to say I can't marry who I want. All of the aforementioned has been sanctioned and is currently being instigated (anti-gay animus) by Christianity by way of using their own religious interpretation (and passed down interpretation) to oppress based on gender, sexual orientation, religion, and ethnicity.

      In his book, "Holy Horrors: An Illustrated History of Religious Murder and Madness," James A. Haught chronicles a thousand years of religious hate ranging from the witch hunts, to the numerous crusades, to the Holy Inquisition, to the religious anti-Semitic influence, which lead to the persecution of Jews for the last 1,000 years. Also, theologian Richard Rubenstein wrote in his book, “After Auschwitz: Religion and the Origins of the Death Camps,” that the Nazis "did not invent a new villain...they took over the 2,000-year-old Christian tradition of the Jew as a villain. The roots of the death camps must be sought in the mythic structure of Christianity."

      Here is just one biblical passage that fueled Jewish hatred: "You suffered from your own countrymen the same things those churches suffered from the Jews, "WHO KILLED THE LORD JESUS" and the prophets and also drove us out. They displease God and are hostile to all men in their effort to keep us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. In this way they always heap up their sins to the limit. The wrath of God has come upon them at last." (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16).

      Throughout history, numerous individuals have pointed to specific passages in the Bible that have been used to validate slavery. One insightful book, "Noah’s Curse: The Biblical Justification of American Slavery," by Stephen R. Haynes, further shows how just "one" biblical passage fueled anti-Black sentiment over the course of hundreds of years. The biblical passage, "A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren," reads Noah’s curse on Ham.

      Ham is later identified as the ancestor of black Africans, and this particular biblical passage is just one that has been used historically to justify African-American slavery. Also many Christian clergymen throughout history were pro-slavery. Historian Larry Hise says in his book, "Pro Slavery," that ministers "wrote almost half of all defenses of slavery published in America." He also lists more than 250 religious men who used the Bible to prove white people were entitled to own black people.

      James A. Haught says, "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined, and imprisoned, yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of the coercion? To make one half of the world fools and the other half hypocrites." The eloquent quote that comes to mind is: "Do as I say, NOT as I do." Indeed, the finest delusion of all is the hypocrisy of individuals who are always quick to point the finger at others, first.

      FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND FREEDOM "FROM" RELIGION

      The opponents are more than welcome to spew their archaic nonsense, religious hate, and bigoted venom all they want. However, thankfully, as an American citizen who lives in the most free country in the world, I have a right to believe what they believe, AND I have a right to not believe what they believe. It's quite dangerous when I hear frivolous blather by some individuals who seem to indicate that a religious book "trumps" our United States Constitution.

      I would certainly welcome a challenge from the opponents to try to show me where in the United States Constitution that it says Blacks and Whites couldn't marry AND where it says same-sex couples cannot marry. They cannot show me because it doesn't exist. As such, all of their "bible" arguments are worthless, baseless, and unfounded. Our country's bible is the United States Constitution and not some Christian "holy" book that promotes, incest, rape, slavery, and polygamy.

      The "holy wars," on this planet have been going on for centuries! Many religious people think THEIR religion, THEIR God, or THEIR holy book is superior to ALL the others. So, who is right and who is wrong? Is there a right or wrong? Is one superior to another? There are 2.1 billion followers of Christianity and 1.5 billion followers of Islam on this planet. Is one religion better or superior to the other? Is the holy book for Christianity more superior or "right" versus the holy book for those who follow the Islam religion?

      Some individuals are hellbent on forcing their religious beliefs on the masses, but they fail to understand that we have freedom of religion, AND freedom from religion in the United States. I can choose to be a Christian, Mormon, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, Buddhist, or I can choose to have NO affiliation or label whatsoever. I cherish that right as an American citizen. I'd be willing to bet opponents would never want to live in the Middle East where many people are forced under a theocratic rule to live by certain religious dictated dress codes and forced "roles" for women. They should be VERY glad we live in a free country where, we as individuals, can decide to have a religious affiliation or NO religious affiliation at all.

      CHERRY PICKING THE BIBLICAL PASSAGES THAT ARE "CONVENIENT" FOR THEM

      While the above mentioned religious persecution experienced in the Middle East is quite extreme, I still experience religious persecution on a smaller scale whenever I have a discussion with these individuals. They almost always point to biblical passages to assert their right to deny me the right to marry the person I want. They archaically use out-of-context and literal interpretations of their bible, and they conveniently cherry-pick and use the bible incorrectly in such a judgmental and hateful manner.

      It's quite interesting that they are always able to pull out a passage to condemn me, but they seem to have "forgotten" about some passages that I will mention below. Clearly, CHERRY PICKING "LITERAL" BIBLICAL PASSAGES to condemn people is what the hate mongers "under the guise of saving someone" do best. These "so-called" Christians hide their homophobia, bigotry, and hatred "couched" under a veil of supposed religious beliefs. WE know VERY WELL, that they PICK AND CHOOSE the passages that they WANT to pick, to fuel their religious dogma. According to "Christian extremists," who believe in "literal interpretations of the bible," the following IS ALSO BANNED AND FORBIDDEN ACCORDING TO THE CHRISTIAN BIBLE!!>>

      Getting Tattoos On Your Body (Leviticus 19:28)

      Shaving (Leviticus 19:27)

      Cursing (Ephesians 5:4)

      Gossip (Leviticus 19:16)

      Football On Saturdays (Exodus 20:8)

      Eating Lobster, Pork, Bacon Ham, Shrimp And Clams (Leviticus 11:10-12)

      Divorcing Someone (spouse Immorality Being The Only "exception") (Matthew 9:19)

      Wearing Cotton/Polyester Blends (Leviticus 19:19)

      Associating With Women Who Are On Their Periods (Leviticus 15:19-20) ….....AND........

      (A) If You Work On The Sabbath (SUNDAY), You Are Supposed To Be Put To Death (EXODUS 35:2)

      (B) Do You Have Any Disobedient Children? ....YOU Can Go Ahead And Kill Them According To (Leviticus 20:9, 21:9, Deuteronomy 21: 20-1, Zechariah 13:3)

      THE INDOCTRINATION AND USE OF RELIGION AS A CONTROL MECHANISM

      Clearly, throughout history, religion has "scared" hundreds of millions of people into behaving, living, and acting a certain way in order to be "saved" or to be one of the persons who will avoid hell, and so much so, that it's caused people (in turn) to be hypocritical, hateful, and prejudice against "others" in the name of God. The truth is, there is no such thing as "hell." We are here in this life to learn the lessons we set out to learn before we entered this life. In all our previous lives, we have all been gay, Black, straight, White, Hispanic, Jew, disabled, rich, poor, Asian and so on and so forth.

      After this life, we will go to what people call "heaven," and see what we did well in this life, what we didn't do so well, and what we need to learn in the "next life" when we reincarnate into another soul. It's all about learning lessons. Organized religion is not God, and God is not organized religion. They can be and ARE separate. However, some believe that they "have" to be together when that is simply not the case.

      Karma is completely real. For every positive thought, word, sentence, gesture, and act we put out, it will come back to us in this life or the next life. Conversely, for every negative thought, word, sentence, gesture, and act we put out, it will come back to us in this life or the next life. At the end of the day, our ultimate lesson is love of our fellow man in all circumstances possible.

      MARRIAGE HAS BEEN REDEFINED AND HAS EVOLVED OVER TIME

      In 1967, when the Supreme Court ruled that interracial marriage bans were unconstitutional, 72% of Americans were against "interracial marriage." Most Americans did NOT want Whites to marry Blacks, Whites to marry Latinos and Whites to marry Asians. Many Americans believed that interracial marriage was immoral, unnatural, and contrary to God's will. Additionally, before the case even reached the Supreme Court, Leon M. Bazile, a trial judge who upheld the ban on interracial marriage (ruled against allowing interracial marriage) quoted Johann Friedrich Blumenbach's interpretation of race in his ruling:

      "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

      Further, marriage has NEVER been between one man and one woman, for polygamy has been practiced on this planet for centuries. In the "Old Testament," Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. King Solomon, had 700 wives and 300 concubines (1 Kings 11:3). King David had 6 wives and many concubines (2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, 14:3). Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines (2 Chronicles 11:21). In Exodus 21:10, it even says this: "a man can marry an infinite amount of women without any limits to how many he can marry." So, yes, the institution of marriage DID change and has evolved over time.

      MARRIAGE EQUALITY IS INEVITABLE; EVEN OPPONENTS KNOW THIS

      Among 18-35 year olds, support for marriage equality is at 80% and the population in general supports it at 60%! At this rate, marriage equality will be supported by the general population at 70-75% in the next 10 years, so it's not a question of "if" but "when?" The social dinosaurs who are still living in the 1950s, will continue to want to get involved in my sex and love life and dictate who I can and cannot marry, but fortunately, their opinion is now the "minority" in this country. We especially saw that last year, in November 2012, when voters in four states approved marriage equality at the ballot box for the first time ever in the United States.

      WASTED HUMAN LIFE SPREADING MORE HATE INSTEAD OF LOVE

      While millions of children go hungry everyday, millions are in poor health, and millions struggle to get by living in poverty, opponents would rather concern themselves with who I can and can't marry. Perhaps opponents will look back remorsefully on their life (when they pass over) and realize that they spent their time and energy in this precious life demagoguing other human beings who are different based on skin color, sexual orientation, or some "other" characteristic. I'm certain that they will regret wasting their life on things that are NONE of their business, yet they chose to get involved in people's love affairs because they felt it was so important to them.

      I SURELY DON'T CARE ABOUT "YOUR" LOVE AFFAIRS, SO STAY OUT OF "MINE" AS WELL, OKAY?!

      Opponents, if you do not support same sex marriage, I have a very simple solution: don't get married to someone of the same sex! Meanwhile, let other people live THEIR lives and marry the person they want. No one tells YOU who you should marry, right? NO. So, respectfully, leave (me and) others the heck alone! I should be able to control my own love life; I'm not involved in your marriage or sex life, so why do you feel the need to butt into my sex and love life? You WON'T be able to stop me from marrying who I want, and if I don't tell you who you should marry, then don't try to tell me either. Whatever the heck you want to do with your life is your choice, and conversely, it's MY choice to do what I desire for MY LIFE (this includes the ability to marry the person I want), so please mind your own business!

      As we know, every single year, support for marriage equality continues to rise, so those who oppose marriage equality are not only on the wrong side of history, but their beliefs will, fortunately, be a part of history as well! Yes, it may sound cliche, but what the world needs now is more love, not more hate. If more people would live a more open and loving life, we all would be better as a country, as a people, and as a global community. No hate or fear monger will ever tarnish my spirit. They are more than welcome to live a closeminded life; however, the majority of the country (who now support marriage quality) will be spreading more love and light and not hate. Love is the strongest and most powerful vibration in the universe and that's what I will be focused on. WE, are on the right side of history of love, tolerance, and acceptance. The other side is on the wrong side of history and their beliefs will be a part of history very soon.

      A letter by Eugene Ramirez

      http://www.facebook.com/eugeneramirezjr

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    • Karen Garrett KNOXVILLE, TN, TN
      • over 1 year ago

      God loves everyone. NO EXCEPTIONS!

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    • Michele Schmidt CENTER VALLEY, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I'm gay and I'm being discriminated against as well. Please sign my petition too. Thanks, Michele Schmidt under Lehigh County petition

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    • Robert Cumming ORLANDO, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      Equal rights for all!!

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    • Matthew Layden PENSACOLA, FL
      • over 1 year ago

      Please continue to share, we are 21 signatures away from 200. If we can get there, another letter will be sent to the political leaders. I am so happy and proud of the support. Every share and signature helps to bring understanding to those who feel they are alone. Thank you for your help.

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