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Gay marriage

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I am a heterosexual, devout Christian, and I feel the community needs to discuss and understand the upcoming vote to ban marriage between couples who are of the same gender.

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In my youth, homosexuality was not a visible “problem”...it was not openly discussed and the gays of my small farm community remained either closeted, isolated, or they simply disappeared to large cities, or some foreign country. Other gay people have confided stories of total family rejection, told never to return or contact family members. The churches were especially unforgiving. This often forced people to live tormented, conflicted lives, rejected by our religion and our communities. Some tried heterosexual marriages, with disastrous results. Those that were “outed” lost jobs and were disgraced. Suicide rates, of course, were increased. Truly, the suffering of these unfortunate souls was enormous. To my shame, the rest of us mostly were silent as this diaspora occurred.

Homosexuality, however, is not a disease, or a mental illness. It is not a profoundly difficult path that some choose. It is simply a difference that is deeply defined in a group of people, very early in their life.

Although Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, He was clear on our duty to love and be compassionate. “We” were told not to fall into religiosity, but to become the “Good Samaritan.” Empowered Christians have changed the world in areas of race, slavery and women’s rights...these radical changes have slowly evolved from the constant urging of the Holy Spirit in our lives, not from precise biblical references.

I can already hear other Christians waggle their finger and cry “love the person, hate the sin” and “go and sin no more.” “We are accepting and loving, but cannot be affirming.” This “loving” rejects literally the deep soul of this person! We cannot continue to drive them from our churches and communities and see them later return ill, defeated, ruined, and without God.

Please vote instead for their healthy inclusion into our community and state, where they have access to the joy of a committed marriage. For 50 years, I have seen the horrible consequences of the other choice. Please do not vote for the continuation of such a culture. It is not the way of Jesus.

Charles Benson

Brainerd

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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.
(218) 855-5889
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