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Reader's view: Undemocratic to deny rights to one group

I presume I have something in common with Minnesota's state legislators. When I was in seventh grade someone came between my best friend, Bobby, and me. Her name was Jeanie. She was Bobby's sister, someone I hadn't paid much attention to until I ...

I presume I have something in common with Minnesota's state legislators. When I was in seventh grade someone came between my best friend, Bobby, and me. Her name was Jeanie. She was Bobby's sister, someone I hadn't paid much attention to until I hit that age when, all of a sudden, I couldn't stop thinking about her.

I imagine that you, at about the same age, were taken by similar feelings toward someone. And when you think about that momentous time, I'll bet you arrive at the same conclusion: We don't create our sexual orientation; it just happens, as uncontrollable and natural as a growth spurt.

So those of us made straight ought to easily understand those who were made gay. We all receive this life sentence at about age 12 or so, with gay kids no more able to change their orientation than we heterosexuals ever could switch ours.

With all childhoods subject to such circumstances, it is undemocratic, not to mention unkind, for our government to grant rights to only one group of citizens rather than the whole. Thousands of Minnesotans now stand before the Legislature hoping to join the ranks of those who can legally and publicly pledge their bond and commitment, through thick and thin, until death makes them part. Marriage is hard work, so let's take advantage of their generous offer to help stabilize society.

Conservatives are correct when they preach that strong marriages are important to our future. Communities suffer from the decline of committed families. Married families help each other in material and emotional ways, lessening their dependence on government. And children raised in solid families are more likely to grow into adults who will foster traditional family values.

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Lawmakers can please vote yes on the marriage bill.

Chuck Neil

Embarrass

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