I live in the United States, in the State of Washington. We vote entirely by mail, and voting began last week. The results of this election will not be known to us until after the final day in which ballots can be turned in and then counted, being 6 November.

This year, a ballot measure called Referendum 74 will decide whether I am allowed to have the same rights as my fellow Washingtonians. You see, I am gay. In Washington, as in many other states, I cannot legally marry. If this measure is approved, that will change and I will have the same basic right to marry a partner of my gender preference as any other citizen of my state.

Polls suggest that currently only 49% of my fellow Washingtonians (as we are called) believe that i should have this right. Opposition is mainly coming from two very specific religious groups, being the Church of Latter Day Saints or Mormons, and the Catholic Church. Advertisements appearing constantly on television and the radio, which have been sponsored by these churches, suggest that I pose a danger to children and to society itself, simply because I exist. This strikes me as rather rich, coming from organizations known for the sexual exploitation of children and women (who do after all constitute over half the population). While they are demonstrably worse for women (whom they subjugate) and children (whom they rape), I am considered to be far more dangerous-because I want to have consensual sexual relations with adult men, and hopefully someday marry one.

Slightly less than half the population of my state thinks that I am human, in other words. The other 51% believe that i am something slightly less. Their rationale is not based in any nefarious conduct of my own-I have served int he military and numerous volunteer projects at home and abroad, do not violate any laws and live a quiet life. No, their reason for declaring me unworthy fo human rights is because of their religion, which must be respected more than my DNA, which has apparently condemned me to a life of sin.

What a strange place to call my home.