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Open Forum: Same-sex marriage ban is bad for families

Placing a ban on same-sex marriage in our state’s constitution would be bad  for families and wrong for Minnesota. The desire of any two people to enter  into marriage is something to celebrate, not something to condemn.

I am a gay man who grew up in Pine River. My husband Oby is a United Church of Christ pastor, and I am preparing for ordination in the Evangelical  Lutheran Church in America. We met as students at Yale Divinity School in  Connecticut and discovered we have much in common. Both of us grew up in  rural Minnesota, attended church-affiliated colleges in our home state, and  sensed a call to ministry.

On May 22, 2009, we were married in the Divinity School chapel. Surrounded by friends and family, in the presence of God, we made sacred vows to love and honor one another in sickness and in health, when times are good and when things get tough. We made a public promise of responsibility for each other and asked our loved ones to support us and hold us accountable.

We married for the same reasons heterosexual couples marry, and we want what any married couple wants: The opportunity to live into the promises we have made, and the legal rights and protections that will allow our family to  flourish. We may look different from other couples, but we share similar  values. We believe in the importance of family and serving our community. We  worry about making ends meet and finding time for one another. We dream of  one day raising children and we hope to grow old together.

Marriage is about love and commitment, faithfulness and accountability. We  hope Minnesota will one day take our relationship as seriously as we do.

Javen Swanson

St. Paul 

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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