I am a straight, white, female, atheist supporter of equal rights, tolerance, and co-existence. I am a mother, wife, daughter, sister, and friend, who longs for a world, where no-one is discriminated against because of looks, gender, skin color, race, ethnics, sexual orientation, faith (or the lack thereof), etc. Today is National Coming-Out Day. It is a day where also Atheists, who are according to some recent surveys the least trusted group of people in the US, stand up and proudly acknowledge themselves, along with many other minority groups, especially gays, lesbians, and transgendered people.
Along with a large group of atheist friends, I also have several gay/lesbian friends. Some of them have defied conventions and risked persecution and punishment for standing up for themselves and their partners. I am ecstatic about every one of my gay friends, who actually manages to get married, because this is something that even today, in the 21st century, which people claim is the most enlightened of all, many gays and lesbians are still banned from enjoying the same benefits and security that is so normal for us straight people. Not so long ago the case of an elderly couple from California has made headlines and proved that even the best preparation for the worst-case scenario can be simply voided by government officials. Why do things like that still have to happen in our society? Why are people forced into hiding just because some people don't approve of their life style? My message to all people who are against : Don't marry a same-sex partner and move on! If you are a minister and your church has a negative standpoint towards gay marriage, fine, don't officiate one. Marriage, however, is more of a legal nature today than a religious. Marriage gives me certain benefits and rights. Thus, no-one should be prevented from entering into such a contract with another competent person. This should be reflected in federal law, and if you are an elected official and consider same-sex marriage objectionable, well, get over it. You are a CIVIL SERVANT, so it's your duty to serve all citizens. If you can't do that, resign from your office and become a private citizen yourself.
In this sense: Happy Coming-Out Day to everyone. Let's work together for a future that truly offers the same opportunities to all people.