My name is Matt Adler and I’m not here to just ask for your vote, I’m here to ask you to support your community.
I’m a Potomac native and my community helps define who I am. My teachers at Bells Mill Elementary taught me how to read, write, and think about the world. My soccer coaches at Hadley’s Park taught me the values of teamwork and cooperation. Club Friday at the Potomac Community Center taught me how to relax and have a good time with friends. My long walks on the C&O Canal taught me the value of protecting the environment.
When I came out of the closet as a senior in high school, my Potomac community - friends, family, and neighbors - accepted me and taught me that I was just as valuable as any other human being. That is why I’m volunteering for Marylanders for Marriage Equality’s campaign to pass Question 6 this Tuesday. It’s not just about gay marriage, it’s about me. You may have played sports with me as a kid. We might’ve gone to Hebrew school together. You might just recognize me from the neighborhood or Giant. I’m one of you. I’m a part of your community. And I deserve to be treated equally.
And yet voting for my rights might not be enough to convince some of you to vote for Question 6 and marriage equality. Then I’d ask you to consider your family. How would you want your son, daughter, sister, or brother to be treated if he or she was gay? Would you want them to be able to dream big and think of marrying someone they love one day? Or would you like them to live in the shadows, unable to realize one of our most basic rights.
And so I remind you - I’m not just asking for your vote. I need you to remember your community when you step into that voting booth. Think of what opportunities I’ll now have if Question 6 passes - and think of the message it sends to our sons and daughters about what kind of a future they’ll have in our state.
I, along with thousands of LGBT Marylanders, am counting on your support to be able to live my life freely and to the fullest. Thank you, and this Election Day, may we live up to our Potomac and American values and vote for Liberty and Justice for All.