Ben Gibbard
Benjamin Gibbard is the singer and songwriter for Death Cab For Cutie and The Postal Service.

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REASON 01: Obama is the first president in U.S. history to acknowledge the right of gay couples to marry and enjoy the full benefits of marriage in the eyes of the law.

My sister Megan is married to one of the most wonderful women I have ever met. Her name is Amber. They courted for years before tying the knot here in Seattle 3 years ago. They have two dogs named JoJo and Franco. They will undoubtedly grow very old and very wrinkled together.

When they are very old and very wrinkled they will tell their grandchildren what life was like at the turn of the century. It will be difficult for these kids to comprehend a time before people could view the Internet on the inside of their eyelids. Or that people once used GAS to power their flying cars. Or how when their Grandmas got married, the Government wouldn't recognize them as wife and wife. All of this will sound very strange.

Their grandkids will be too young for the details on how gay marriage was eventually legalized across the country but this is how it unfolded:

In Washington State, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage passed the Legislature and was signed by Governor Christine Gregoire in February 2012. Same-sex marriages were to be performed starting in June 2012 but that was delayed as opponents gathered enough signatures to force a voter referendum on the legislation. This was known as Referendum 74. A number of bigoted organizations tried their best to squash Ref. 74 but the voters of Washington State decided it was time to afford equal rights to all. It passed! Washington became the first state to approve marriage equality by a popular vote after 32 others had tried and failed. The rest of the country saw what Washington had done and decided they wanted to get some of that equality, too. Gay marriage started getting legalized all over the place. It was great. It was the right thing to do.

A lot of credit also had to go to our President, Barack Obama. In May of 2012, he went on national TV and expressed his support for gay marriage. It may be hard to believe but at the time, this was quite a controversial position to some people. He said he had "gone through an evolution" on the matter and felt it was time to share this view with the country (Vice President Biden also kind of forced his hand on the timing of this announcement but hey, who cares now?). He was the first U.S. president to voice support for marriage equality. His support continued through his second term and helped us get to where we are today: Gay couples that choose to get married receive the same rights and recognitions as straight ones.

I am voting for Barack Obama this fall because I want a president who recognizes that gay or straight, the rights of married couples should be equal. Marriage equality is undoubtedly the most important civil rights issue of our generation. We must elect a leader committed to being on the correct side of history. Please vote for Barack Obama this November.

Benjamin Gibbard
 Seattle, Washington

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REASON 79:
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