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Letter: Vote no on marriage issue

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I will start by saying that I don't normally follow politics very closely, and I don't voice my opinion very often, but I can't sit idly by and not make my voice heard about the Minnesota Marriage Amendment issue.

I'd like to take a few moments to share some reasons why I'm voting no on Nov. 6. First, I don't think that our State Constitution should be amended for social issues. I feel that our Constitution should uphold our rights, not take them away. Also, I don't believe that I should use my right to vote to take away the rights of others.

I also have a very personal reason to oppose this amendment. That reason involves my nephew. He grew up in a small town near here; got his degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and recently he received his doctorate from Columbia University in New York. Yes, that Ivy League school.

He now has a great job in Chicago. He has accomplished so many things and he has contributed so much to society in his young life already. He treats others with kindness and respect and I'm very proud of him. He happens to be gay and in a committed relationship.

This wonderful young man shared with us, his family and friends, that he was often at his breaking point and contemplated ending it far too many times because he is "different." That broke my heart. I'm so very happy that he didn't take that road and stayed to see what is next in life. I believe that he should have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else. I don't feel that he should be punished for just being who he is, for how he was made, or for whom he chooses to share his life.

My thought is that we certainly don't need more hate and discrimination in the world but more compassion, understanding, and acceptance. Also, I feel that there are so many more important issues that need our attention right now.

Thank you for your time and I hope that you will also choose to vote no.

Cheryl Schmillen

Granite Falls

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