If you have been paying attention to the presidential campaign this past year, chances are you have heard the topic of gay rights come up more than once.
It is one of the most controversial issues of the presidential elections and has been a hot topic for the Barack Obama and Mitt Romney race.
During Obama’s first four years as president, he abolished “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which was a step toward acceptance and equality of gay servicemen and women.
This past May, President Obama announced his support of gay marriage in an interview for ABC and within the month it became an official part of the Democratic platform.
Dividing the parties by huge contrast, Romney is vehemently opposed to gay marriage and supports the Defence Of Marriage Act that defines marriage as only between heterosexual couples.
First time voter Jacob Tout, a sophomore at Shippensburg University, recognizes the weight of his choice on Election Day.
“Something is starting to happen and I want to be a part of it. I don’t want to be one of those people that say ‘Obama lost by one person. I could have been that one person.’ I want to do my part,” said Tout.
College students make up 21 percent of the eligible voting population in the U.S. so the students of Shippensburg University have an opportunity to be a part of that percent and let their voices be heard on Nov. 6.
SU senior Stephanie Diaz is a social work major and plans on voting for the second time next month.
She recognizes the difference her vote could make.
“Chances are, you’ve come across at least one person who identifies as LGBT. It could be your best friend and the way you vote could change their life.”
Diaz actively works with the university’s LGBT club S.A.L.E. and helps with the Women’s Center on campus.
She also plans on helping out on Election Day to entertain those waiting in line.
She encourages every Shippensburg student to go out and vote.
“I believe college students have such a big voice that they haven’t even realized yet. No matter how someone votes, they should have that chance to make a difference,” said Diaz.
With it becoming one of the most talked about issues of this upcoming election, the man elected president in November will be a deciding factor on which direction the gay rights movement goes next.
Whether you support the movement for equal rights or not, election day is going to be a big day that will decide the fate of a lot of people in this country, and every vote will matter.