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Vote 'yes' on the marriage amendment
From the very beginning in Genesis, God created Adam and Eve to be in his perfect garden. If he had created Adam and Joe, we would not be here.

In Leviticus 18, God gives a list of forbidden sexual practices. In verse 22 he says, "Do not practice homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman. It is a detestable sin."

In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus talks about marriage: "From the beginning, God made them male and female." And he said, "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."

In Romans 1:18-32, it says,"So God abandoned them to do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. They traded the truth about God for a lie ... since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should nver be done."

If you keep reading in Romans 2:1-16, it tells us it is wrong for us to condemn and judge such people, for "the day is coming when God, through Jesus Christ, will judge everyone's secret life." We are all sinners, so we must love the sinner and hate the sin.

In 1st Corinthians 6:9-20, it says, "Don't you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people — none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of Lord Jesus Christ and by the spirit of our God ... Run from sexual sin. Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit ... You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body."

We are all sinners and stand in need of forgiveness. In John 8:1-11, Jesus tells us about the woman brought to him to be stoned for committing adultery. He ends by telling her, "Go and sin no more."

Tell me how is that possible if you are married to the sin? If you believe that the Bible is God's true word to live by, then please vote "yes" on election day.
—Beva DeJong

Why I'm going to vote 'no'
I will start by saying that I don't normally follow politics very closely, and I don't voice my opinion very often, but I can't sit idly by and not make my voice heard about the Minnesota Marriage Amendment issue.

I'd like to take a few moments to share some reasons why I'm voting no on Nov. 6. First, I don't think that our state Constitution should be amended for social issues. I feel that our Constitution should uphold our rights, not take them away. Also, I don't believe that I should use my right to vote to take away the rights of others.

I also have a very personal reason to oppose this amendment. That reason involves my nephew. He grew up in a small town near here; got his degree at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and recently, he received his doctorate from Columbia University in New York. Yes, that Ivy League school. He now has a great job in Chicago. He has accomplished so many things and he has contributed so much to society in his young life already. He treats others with kindness and respect and I'm very proud of him.

He happens to be gay and in a committed relationship. This wonderful young man shared with us, his family and friends, that he was often at his breaking point and contemplated ending it far too many times because he is "different." That broke my heart. I'm so very happy that he didn't take that road and stayed to see what is next in life. I believe that he should have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else. I don't feel that he should be punished for just being who he is, for how he was made, or with whom he chooses to share his life.

My thought is that we certainly don't need more hate and discrimination in the world, but more compassion, understanding and acceptance. Also, I feel that there are so many more important issues that need our attention right now.

Thank you for your time and I hope that you will also choose to vote no.
—Cheryl Schmillen
Granite Falls

It's a civil right
A civil rights issue and a chance for Minnesota to shine! Please vote no!

Thousands of Minnesotans are in danger of permanently losing the right to marry the one they love.

"This fall, you will be asked to give the government control over individuals' personal lives and the amendment (limiting the right to marry) must be defeated." These are the words of Terry Ventura.

Our country was founded on freedom and liberty for all. Our state, Minnesota, the best in the country, has a chance to make history. I say with our U.S. Senator Amy Kobulachar, "I know Minnesotans never back away from a challenge (in regard to defeating this proposed ammendment)."

Former Republican National Committee Chair, Ken Mehlman, wrote just recently in the StarTribune: "If we are serious in our belief that every citizen is endowed by his or her creator to pursue happiness, then how can this not include the freedom to marry."

Dick Cheney supports civil marriage for all American couples. "Freedom means freedom for everyone." He's right.

The defeat of the amendment will not give gay persons the right to marry. But, if the amendment passes it will make it impossible for gay couples to marry any time in the future. This would a step backwards for human rights.

The race for votes is very close. I ask you as a Christian, a mother and a grandmother, to vote for human rights and to vote no on this hateful amendment. Thank you.

—Linda Brathen

Kubly would have voted 'no'
Staying true to what I learned from my husband, Gary Kubly, when he was in the Legislature, I will be voting no on both constitutional amendments on the ballot this November.

The voter ID amendment will be an easy no. This is an expensive fix for a problem that is very uncommon in Minnesota.

Contrary to all the hype, there was no evidence of fraud that would have changed the outcome in the close Senate race that was won by Al Franken. Gary learned this from a justice (Republican appointee) on the Minnesota Supreme Court.

If the amendment passes, it will be an expensive burden which would fall heavily on rural counties and especially townships. In addition, it will hardest to implement for the elderly, the disabled, college students and the poor. Do we want to deprive these people of their right to vote?

The "marriage amendment" is not so easy. As a Lutheran pastor, Gary voted for the Defense of Marriage bill in the late 1990s. This put the traditional definition of marriage into Minnesota law.

However, in the years that followed, Gary saw this issue become completely politicized by groups spreading hate and fear. Threatening e-mails and nasty phone calls were not uncommon. Hateful signs at rallies at the Capitol were a shocking sight. The issue has been used to divide people rather than to promote the sanctity of marriage. As Gary said after much soul-searching about this, "I will never vote to put hate on the Minnesota Constitution." Following his example, I, too, will vote no.

Gary's hope would be that people come together in dialog. We need much more peaceful dialog before we pass amendments such as these.

—Pat Kubly
Granite Falls

Preserve sound families
If the Marriage Amendment is defeated, the real agenda of the 1 to 2 percent of the U.S. population of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender will be more evident to everyone.

The advances of their agenda have been under the radar for most law-abiding citizens who have regarded the stability of the family and the universal concept of marriage the rock of society since the beginning of time.

The future is already here in many counties. Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark have a very high percentage of children out of wedlock Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Germany and France have also taken on the yoke of socialism with the homosexual agenda.

For as a Stockholm University professor of comparative literature said, "For the children, it makes no difference whether their parents are married or not. Traditional family values are not important to us anymore. They are something we do research on, like a fossil."

These and other areas of family and culture are devalued by the redefinition of marriage, so much so that youth raised in such a culture exhibit higher levels of emotional and behavior problems. Sadly, other topics redefined are monogamy, polygamy, civil disobedience and divorce.

Also important is "silencing of the church." It was and is the key ingredient to silence Christians. But the true Word cannot be silenced. Read First Corinthians 6:9-10, Matthew 19:4-5, Romans 1:24-27, Leviticus 18:22, Timothy 1:8-11 and Genesis 19.

At the risk of being called outdated, homophobe or radical, I know what is usually said to dismiss the above verses of the Holy Bible. But even if nations may legalize things contrary to God's Word and their long-term stability, Christians are to live as Christ teaches, not according to our culture.

There's more to consider than what's above the radar. Vote yes on the one-man and one-woman amendment.
—Lyle Henning

Economics is today's challenge
How do you handle your own money? Do you seek the best bargain or the lowest price? Do you ask your merchants for a discount?

Our government should operate the same way to reflect your conservatism. Why should they spend money they don't have or cannot afford when you and your family must live on a budget and not spend frivolously and on things which are wishes instead of needs.

We should only ask of our government what we cannot do for ourselves or isn't available to us — as needed — not wanted.

We all want more — it's what we need we should concentrate on.
—Dave Swenson