Actor Max Von Essen, currently starring on Broadway in the musical Evita, is sharing a letter he wrote to a Facebook friend planning to vote for Mitt Romney for president of the US.
The 38-year-old actor, who is openly gay, details the reasons why he does not want Romney and running mate Paul Ryan to be elected on 6 November.
‘I know people are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it would,’ he writes. ‘Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime.’
Von Essen points out that the Republican candidates are against gay marriage and favor a amendment to the US constitution that would prevent them from being recognized on a federal level. Romney has also stated that he thinks hospital visitation should be left up to states to decide.
‘They also believe that being at your partner’s side when he/she is dying is a benefit, not a civil right,’ he writes. ‘They could keep me from my partner dying in a hospital. Could you even imagine something like that in your own life? Being separated from your wife on her death bed? Could you imagine your marriage never being recognized and being told that your family is not a family and you do not deserve any federal rights that comes with marriage. Over 1100 rights.Did you know that? 1100.’
The actor makes clear that anyone who doesn’t think LGBT equality is important should remove him from their friends list.
He writes: ‘I need people in my life who love me and consider me 100% equal.’