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.