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Grateful to Joe

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

I am grateful for Rep. Joe Radinovich. His vote to support marriage for all couples took courage. He understood that while his entire district did not support him in voting yes, that those of us who needed him to vote yes should be heard. I am one of those people who needed him to vote yes. I grew up in Crosby and I am a Lesbian. I know that the older I get a few more people have come out from the time I went to C-I, but the fact remains that so many of us from Crosby are forced to remain in the closet. We are made to think that we will not be loved, that we will deserted by our families, that we will lose our jobs, and so we stay silent.

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As a student at C-I I was picked on and bullied. I was cornered, beat up, called names, and I was ostracized. I mentioned it to teachers sometimes, but the fear of retaliation from my peers regularly kept me silent. I am not writing this now to blame anyone--we were kids. But the fact of the matter is that when we deprive gay and lesbian couples of their basic freedoms, we are setting an example for our children. We are telling our kids that they are different and do not deserve the same respect.

I knew Joe at C-I. He was always friendly and kind. He was a stand-up guy then, and he is today, too. It took me a few years to find my voice, but now that I have, I am grateful that he hears me.

Arielle Schnur

Crosby

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