Capitol Fax, a blog focused on Illinois politics, publishes a letter from an African American veteran of the Marine Corps, discharged under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Marine Sargent Marquell Smith calls on legislators to pass the freedom to marry in Illinois.
Like you I'm African-American. I learned that the struggles of our people are a symbol of hope for those being discriminated against. We cannot let an important vehicle of past struggles —African-American churches— become the gatekeepers of the rights to dignity of others. Who are we to deny someone else the right to marry because we don’t agree with who they love?
Equality begins when people in positions of power enable everyone to live lives of decency and dignity, free from any prejudice in the law. Black folks did not want anyone’s permission to live freely; we can not rest until this dream is realized for everyone.