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About marriage amendment

June 1, 2012
The Journal

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Mr. Thom's recent letter regarding his thoughts on the subject of gay marriage.

When I married my husband I viewed it as celebrating with the world the level of commitment we both shared for each other. Marriage implies a permanent union and a certain level of respect for the relationship goes with it. The terms "civil union" and "domestic partnership" to me don't carry the same weight and I don't view them in the same regard as marriage. These terms confer a second-class status. Discrimination (excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to another group) is inherent in any second-class status.

When we signed that powerful piece of paper that day we were automatically given many rights, which are protected legally in the state of Minnesota and are recognized in all 50 states. What this constitutional amendment would do is prevent a segment of our population - tax paying, contributing members of society - from accessing these rights. There is currently no other language restricting the rights of any group, like this amendment does, in our Minnesota constitution. Why would we add it now? I would like to think that Minnesota is a place where we treat others as we would like to be treated. We shouldn't single out one group of Minnesotans to be treated differently.

Think of your own marriages. Is the "sex" part what defines your marriage? Or is it the mutual caring, love and respect you have for one another?

Marriage is not under assault. No one is taking anything away from traditional marriage. No one is interfering with the rights of heterosexual couples. The only thing gay marriage does is extend to others the same rights heterosexual couples have always had. It strengthens the Constitution by proving the document applies to all citizens.

My understanding of the purpose of the constitution is to protect the rights of citizens, not take them away. If you believe the same please vote NO in November.

Wendy Ringhofer

New Ulm



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