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Don’t limit freedom

October 17, 2012
Fairmont Sentinel

To the Editor:

With the election only weeks away, many of us have started avoiding the endless TV and radio commercials and are hesitant to answer another phone call from a campaign. Now is the time we sit down at the dinner table or at the cafe to discuss the issues on the ballot. This November, we face a particularly difficult issue on the Minnesota ballot -?the marriage amendment.

As a person of faith, I am always guided by my beliefs and values. People of faith in Minnesota are on both sides of this issue. I am voting no because of my faith not in spite of it. I know that we are God's creation, and that through God's love and grace we can navigate the social issues of our day. Through my work as a pastor, I know that for all couples who wish to enter into marriage they must understand love, commitment and responsibility. These three values are what I see in all couples including same-sex couples who wish to enter into marriage.

Ultimately, many Minnesotans do not see this issue in the way that I do. However, it is important to know how this amendment affects everyone's freedom. This amendment, if passed, would mix religion and politics in our constitution. It would tell some churches that the marriages they perform are not valid. This is not the Minnesota I know. All churches, both the ones that perform marriage for committed same-sex couples and those that do not, should have their freedom protected. Taking one view and permanently placing it in the constitution is divisive.

As the election approaches, I pray that we as a community talk about the issues of the day in an open and honest manner so that we may be well informed on election day. I hope that many of you join me in voting no on an amendment that singles out one group of Minnesotans, telling them that it is illegal to marry the person they love. Please vote no - don't limit the freedom to marry.

Rev. Susan Lester

United Church of Christ

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