Editor's Note: Each year, the students of Julie Rosenberg's sixth-grade class at Academy School in Brattleboro are tasked with a three-month project of researching and writing their persuasive "Letters to the Editor." Only students who scored above an 80 percent were allowed to submit their letters, and some students who didn't meet that goal re-worked their letters so that they could participate. Below is the first of the letters, which continue on pages A10, C4 and C5. More letters will be printed in upcoming editions of the Brattleboro Reformer.

Getting married is for everyone

Because of our current situation, I want to educate you on the topic of gay and lesbian marriage rights. Being gay or lesbian means that you are born being attracted to same-sex people. My uncle is gay. I care about this topic because of my uncle, David, and his significant other, Marshal. They got married about three years ago. I think people should be able marry who they want to. If my uncle wanted to move to Texas, Tennessee, or Louisiana, or any of the other 11 states where gay marriage is illegal, his marriage wouldn't be recognized. What if you found out that your child realized they were gay or lesbian and they wanted to get married? What would you do?


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People are starting to support gay marriage. But how many people support gay marriage? This is a question I ask myself a lot. I'm sure that if you are related to, or know a gay or lesbian person, you've probably asked yourself this question too. According to Huffington Post, the answer to this question is, "more than 86 percent of US citizens support gay marriage." This means, more than three-fourths of US citizens support gay marriage. I am surprised by this because the majority of the US population is saying gay marriage should be legal but it seems the government is saying no to their request.

Gay people cannot naturally reproduce so, just like anyone who wants a child and can't naturally reproduce, they often adopt or they have the option of doing what is called in vitro insemination. In vitro insemination means if homosexual person wanted to have a kid they (if lesbian) would get a sperm donor. Or (if gay) they would maybe get a woman to hold the baby or adopt. How many children get adopted by gay or lesbian people? According to OTP, "About 65,000 children in the U.S. are adopted by gay or lesbian couples." Sixty-five thousand kids are getting adopted by gay or lesbian parents! But, out of those 65,000 kids many of their parents can't get married. I think this fact is surprising because to me 65,000 is a lot of people and, even though my parents were never married, if they wanted to and couldn't I would be pretty devastated. Also, since a gay or lesbian couple can't reproduce, in vitro insemination means only one of the parents would have the same DNA. In some states if a gay couple's child were to get hurt and needed to go to the hospital, the parent without the same DNA as the kid wouldn't be able to see their kid in the hospital. Because the hospital rules are "family only." The parent without the same DNA would have to adopt their own child to see them in the hospital.

Not only do lots of people support gay marriage, but whole states do, too. How many states have legalized gay marriage? I just recently started asking myself this, because if I was lesbian I would want to know where I could move to. Thirty-six out of 50 states have legalized gay marriage leaving a remainder of fourteen states where gay marriage is still illegal, says PronCon. Of that 36, 25 states have legalized by a court decision; eight by state legislature; and three by popular vote. This to me is surprising, because those 14 states are keeping gays from marrying who they love most. Also, even in these states who have legalized gay marriage, the federal government still hasn't, so any marriage rights that are recognized by state law are not upheld by the federal laws. Also, if people who are gay and married in one state where it is legal, leave that state, their marriage is not necessarily going to be recognized anywhere else.

There are people out there who don't like the fact that gay people can get married. What they say is that marriage has been traditionally defined as being between a man and a woman. They are wrong. People should be able to marry who they want. A law can't change the way people live and love. Not everyone is the same. "Marriage is an internationally recognized human right for all people" This means that marriage is a right for all people no matter who they love. I agree with this because I think that people should be able to marry and love who they want!

If you too think that marriage should be a right for all people, There is a way you can help. You can help by being an advocate and showing support for gay marriage and helping people reconsider the issue. If you live in one of the 14 states where gay marriage is illegal you could go to www.senate.gov and click the senator link and there will be a list of the senators in the US and that is where you can find their name and address. There you should get one piece of paper or open a new tab and type up a letter or write a letter to that senator to help the gay people. You could also go to community.pflag.org and donate to help support gay marriage. PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) founded in 1992 and has over 350 chapters and 200,000 members. This could help because the more people who support gay marriage, the more states will legalize it. We found that 75 percent of the increase in support for gay marriage has come from Americans who are given the opportunity to speak their mind. PFLAG helps families too.

Hannah R. McCormick