To Whom It May Concern:

My name is Frankie D. Baxter and I am a 27-year-old resident of Wilton Manors and this is a letter to the editor that I would like to share, because of all the negative comments by those that do not support gay marriage.

I have reviewed many opinions, and needless to say that some are beyond disgusting. I agree that gay people are born the way they are. I agree that our lifestyle is different, and I agree that society will not accept this overnight; moreover, it will take time as does any change in our democratic society.

Gays are not asking to run America, they are asking for the same basic rights that straight people are afforded. That is it. The right to legally be recognized. Are they really so different from straight people considering that straight people have [a high] divorce rate in this country. Will gays do any better? I doubt they will, but I feel that they should be afforded the chance to try, and yes I am certain that many divorce attorneys are now doing cartwheels as they plan for the future influx of divorces that are projected to come from the gay community.

But are gays really so different? If you prick a gay person, does he not bleed? If you say something funny to a gay person, does he not laugh? If you tell a gay person something sad, does he not cry? If this holds to be true, why aren’t homosexuals treated as equals? If the constitution states that all men should be treated as equals, are gays not the same? Last time I checked, homosexuals are human, and if they are human in America they should be afforded the same constitutional rights as any straight person under the law, if this is truly a democratic country.

Religion has held society back far too long. Not too long ago black people finally became free, because at one time blacks were considered to be three-quarters of a person. Have we all forgotten our horrible past?

We are scared of change. Look how far society has grown since the Dark Ages and since the Salem Witch Trials. We hanged people that suffered from mental issues because we feared they were witches. That was nothing but lack of education and fear; thus, that is the same here.

Are homosexual’s really immoral, unjust, non-regulating, devious, non-trusting people? Really? Honestly? What if this is your son or daughter, mom or dad, brother or sister, or best friend? We have more than a legal right and responsibility here, we have a chance to show our future generations that we have grown beyond the dark ages into a better more open and understanding future. We no longer hang people that appear to be crazed, but we study and try to understand and help them. We try to establish benefits that will not have exclusions and exceptions but circumstances that will have coverage for all persons living within our union.

Do we really want our children to grow up in a society that is not open and understanding?

Needless to say, it is time to accept change, not fear it. I am scared to get married because I have no idea if my marriage will last, but I am going forth with this social union that I hope will last between my partner and me until death do us part, because I have enjoyed him for the last 8 years I have known him. And I am blessed I met him on my 19th birthday, and I am sure God, or whomever or whatever divine entity rules the heavens will accept us for who we are and all of those that oppose us, and others like us, because God loves all his children!

Frankie D. Baxter
Wilton Manors