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opinion Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Two important social issues will be addressed on our Nov. 6 ballot as amendments to the Minnesota Constitution. Neither issue should be resolved through the constitutional amendment process.

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Same sex marriage is currently illegal in Minnesota. If our cultural views, the voters, and our legislature evolve to the point where same sex marriage seems reasonable, we should be able to make that decision without being hampered by unnecessary constitutional restraints.

Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to get to know a number of gay and lesbian people both personally and professionally. Some of them are in long term, committed relationships, just like my heterosexual friends, with the basic human need to be loved and accepted for who they are.

As a Christian, I believe that the love of Jesus is for everyone, no exceptions. If and when our culture evolves, I believe they should have the opportunity to experience the blessings of marriage.

For those of us who use our photo I.D.’s on a regular basis, it is hard to understand how someone can exist without such identification. The reality however, is that a number of American and Minnesota citizens do not have photo I.D.’s, for a variety of reasons. Most of these people are seniors or poor. However, they are our fellow citizens, and should not be denied the right to vote. There is no substantial evidence that voter fraud is a problem in our state. If such a case is eventually made, it can be dealt with through regular legislative and policy channels.

Please join me in voting no on both proposed constitutional amendments.

Lowell (Fred) Johnson

Fort Ripley

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