WHY IT MATTERS: Issues at stake in election - Article Photos 6/40

FILE - In Oct. 6, 2009, file photo, Ed Grandis, left, and Juan D. Rondon, hold hands after a bill allowing same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia was introduced at a city council meeting in Washington. On one aspect of whether same-sex couples should have the right to marry, both sides agree: The issue defines what kind of nation we are. Half a dozen states and the District of Columbia have made history by legalizing it, but it’s prohibited elsewhere, and 30 states have placed bans in their constitutions. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)