Veterans shouldn't be second-class citizens

April 25, 2013

As a U.S. Army veteran who enlisted and served overseas during the Vietnam era, handling top-secret materials in the Army Security Agency and then honorably discharged, I can be described as strongly patriotic and one who values public service to this nation. However, federally and in Delaware, I can also be described as a second-class citizen because I committed myself in life to a man, not to a woman.

In fact, many gay Delawareans have served in the military, only to come home and have no federal marriage rights and protections – and then be told by Delaware that their relationships are not marriage but something less.

I ask our lawmakers to support H.B. 75, the Civil Marriage Equality and Religious Protection Act of 2013. There should be no reason why service members should potentially put their lives on the line – and then come back home as vets to be second-class citizens.

Douglas Marshall-Steele

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