Imagine your spouse getting critically injured in a car crash, and when you went to the hospital to sit by your loved one's bedside, and make medical decisions the way you know they'd want them to be made, the hospital wouldn't listen to you and didn't consider you next of kin.
Imagine not being able to marry the person you loved, or adopt a child you loved and could care for.
Imagine enlisting to serve our country in the armed forces, serving honorably and to the best of your ability, and getting kicked out because you refuse to hide who you are.
Imagine being told you were going to hell, were a sinner, were wrong, were evil, simply because of who you fell in love with, or having your loving, committed relationship likened to pedophilia or bestiality.
These are some of the challenges -- just some -- that the LGTB* community faces every day.
I have said before, and I will say again, that I believe that the struggle for equal rights for our LGTB fellow citizens is my generation's civil rights struggle. I stand by that.
I cannot be in Washington, D.C. today to march with you, my LGTB friends. But I want you to know that I love you, I support you, I am committed to your struggle.
You add immeasurably to my life. You make me smile, you make me laugh, you make me think, you make me proud. I honor you for the way that you slog on, day after day, with dignity and humor, in the face of ignorance and bigotry and cruelty and even well-meaning cluelessness.
As our President said last night, "I'm here with a simple message: I'm here with you in that fight."
I am proud to stand by you.
I hope to be still standing by you, still proud, when equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, become a reality.
*Is it "LGBT" or "LGTB"?