WHY IT MATTERS: Issues at stake in election - Article Photos 26/31

FILE - In this Sept. 10, 2012 file photo, gay marriage supporters gather at a rally outside of City Hall in Portland, Maine, in support of an upcoming ballot question that seeks to legalize same-sex marriage. 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/Joel Page, File)