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Letter: Vote no on Marriage Amendment Nov. 6

I thought I would take a moment and share my views with the community that has supported and nurtured my upbringing as a youth, a community I still love and call home. I want to share and help others understand why voting yes on this freedom-limiting amendment is the wrong decision for Minnesota.

To those that believe churches will be forced to marry same-sex couples - this is untrue and being used to spread fear. Churches will not be forced to marry same-sex couples, just as they aren't required now to marry heterosexual couples if they choose not to. The decision will still remain their choice as a church. I believe it's important to take a lesson from history and point to a time when many in this country believed interracial couples marrying was wrong. Many may still. Allowing same-sex couples to have the same rights as married heterosexual couples doesn't in any way trample straight couples' rights. Heterosexual couples will still be married and their love will still mean the same thing it does one day as it would the next after this freedom-limiting amendment is voted down. This amendment does not grant gay couples marriage rights if a no vote prevails, it means the discussion may continue.

On a more personal note, I have many gay and lesbian friends. What's sad is the discussion in Minnesota has turned into such a religious argument, and in particular, one led by the Catholic church. Many same-sex couples just want the same rights extended to them. The law and religion should not be entangled, because this country is and will forever be made up of many different people and many different beliefs.

Our constitution should do what it can to extend freedoms to people, not limit them. Please rethink your arguments for voting yes in November and know that when you vote yes, you're also deciding that the love and commitment you might celebrate and enjoy in marriage will be withheld from others.

Ask yourself how important the love and commitment you share with your spouse is and if you feel comfortable withholding that freedom from others. And when you decide it isn't, please vote no this November.

Andrew Leshovsky