To the Editor:
Contrary to Helen Halverson's October 20th opinion that "traditional marriage" is in peril, Minnesota has already recognized marriage as a union between one woman and one man since 1997 (MN Statue 517.01).
Heterosexual partners in a marriage are guaranteed approximately 1,400 privileges not afforded to homosexual couples due to this state law as well as federal legislation. These privileges include the rights to joint parenting, adoption, foster care, custody, and visitation; status as next-of-kin for hospital visits and medical decisions where one partner is too ill to be competent; and joint insurance policies for home, auto, and health.
Several challenges can be made to Ms. Halverson's belief that marriage is essential to successfully raising children and that love and commitment for a significant other is no different than love for a child, aunt, or fast food chain. However, the statement that "gays want to feel good about their relationship" is insulting. This bigotry and discrimination only serves to create second-class citizens out of people equally entitled to the respect and privileges currently awarded only to heterosexuals.
This is why I - a former resident of Truman - will vote "No" to limiting the status of marriage to people who choose to be straight.
St. Louis Park