In 2008, Marylander, Joseph L. Kitchen, Jr. voted for California’s Proposition 8 which bans same-sex couples from getting married in the Golden State by absentee ballot; he still maintained a California residency. That vote was an awakening in Kitchen, which led him to come out as a gay man and fight for marriage equality for Maryland’s same-sex couples.
From The Washington Blade:
“And the interesting thing about it is I voted for the proposition knowing who I was,” he told the Blade in an exclusive interview. “But I voted for it. And I think that vote… affirmed to me that I could not live that way anymore.”
Added Kitchen, “I could not be publicly who I was saying I was but knowing my private life. And so when I did that – immediately after I did that – of course my position changed. I started to become more comfortable about who I was.”
He says he also became more comfortable in reconciling his religious beliefs with his sexual orientation.
“I had to believe and come to realize, as a person of faith, that I am made in God’s image and he has made me to be who he wants me to be, that God made me this way because this is who I am and I’m made in his image.”