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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Vote no

If you are planning to vote yes on the proposed constitutional amendment regarding marriage, please reconsider. We still have so much to learn about our human family. What is self-evident in one generation is not always so for the next.

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Until 1967, in the American South, it was illegal for a white person to marry someone of a different race. Most people supported these laws, because most people could not imagine why two people of different race would want to marry each other. People who defended these laws had Scripture on their side (Deuteronomy 7:3-4), and expressed genuine concern for the children of mixed-race marriages. In 1967, the United States Supreme Court declared Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws to be unconstitutional.

Today in Minnesota, it is illegal for gay or lesbian couples to marry. Most people who defend these laws cannot imagine why two people of the same gender would want to marry each other. Many of these people believe they have Scripture on their side, and they express genuine concern for the children of gay or lesbian couples. But eventually these laws will be declared unconstitutional, for the same reason that the anti-miscegenation laws were unconstitutional.

The struggle for civil rights taught America that the rights of a minority must never be subject to the approval of the majority. Marriage is a human right. The freedom to marry and create family is essential to the “pursuit of happiness,” a fundamental American value.

If we pass this amendment, we will preempt the progress of human rights in Minnesota. If we defeat this amendment, we will keep the conversation open for future generations of Minnesotans. We can all live with that. Please, vote no.

Rev. Deborah G. Celley, pastor

First Congregational United Church of Christ

Brainerd

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