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The 4-Man Stand This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

From the start of middle school, I was thrown into an environment of diverse ideas, opinions, and lifestyles. Until then, I wasn't well-versed in the controversy revolving same-sex marriage. My innocence still thrived, and politics was a concept that I was oblivious to, until, I met a few people that would rapidly grow to be my strongest friends. Yes, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, you name it. Many claim that it is impossible to know your sexuality from such a young age. Yet, what makes you so sure you are straight from birth? Nonetheless, these peers pushed me both in philosophy and education. As our relationships grew, my curiosity peaked and had a lust to be nurtured through research, to discover more about the discrimination they faced and the lifestyle they pursued. Consequently, I grew more and more convinced that the government's war on gay marriage was discriminatory, unjust, and unconstitutional. By the summer nearing 8th grade, I wanted to make a difference, or at least in the words of Mother Teresa, "cast a stone that creates many ripples." Let's protest. Let's gather. Let's make our voice heard. I rallied up kids via facebook, ranging from 13 to 16. I was expecting a decent turn out considering the vast interest. The day prior to the gay marriage protest, unfortunately, many kids dropped out. They didn't want their parents job to be affected, or their social status. I had a grand total of three others arrive, including my father. Yet, larger doesn't always mean better. I believed our youthful age represented us as mature figures who wanted to share with others the voice of the younger generation. After all, the greatest prejudice in America is against the youth. From the start, the response of passerby was decent. Some stopped to give us there stamp of approval, which served as quite inspirational. A handful honked, smiled, screamed joyfully outside their cars, the exact response I was hoping for. However, as the hour moved forth, the responses seemed to turn negative. A grand total of two middle fingers, thumbs down, and a good f-bomb to apply the icing on the cake. I was prepared for this, I knew as well as any other the topic impacted each one's moral values differently. The most hurtful I thought was the local police officer, who drove by shaking his head and giving us a thumbs down. The disapproval of authority got to me, the whole point was for government to realize the light at the end of the tunnel, not to turn around and dig deeper. It was growing warmer, and the barefoot group of us was just about to through in the towel when a man and his wife pull over my the curb. Analyzing his neutral face, i couldn't tell whether he would rant against or rally for us. Instead, he simply states something I will always remember for thought, an important verse I derived from the day. " Aren't you a little young to be doing this?" It caught me off guard. The only response I could conjure before he pulled away was, " You're never too young to practice your first amendment rights." This I hold as self-evident, and true as of today.



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