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Letter: Bible's interpretation of marriage should be left out of state law

To the editor,

My partner, of 14 years, and I moved to Hastings earlier this year from Minneapolis. Having both grown up in River Falls, Wis., we were looking for a smaller, tight-knit community similar to our hometown. So far, we are very pleased with the move.

This is in response to the letter written in the July 12 edition's "Pastor's Corner" concerning the definition of marriage. First, I must say to the author of the letter that I am not offended by your views. I have lived my entire adult life often wondering if the people I interact with will be accepting of my relationship with my partner. Having my relationship questioned can be both frustrating and scary due to not knowing if someone will react negatively. So far, I feel lucky that I have been accepted by most when I talk about my partner and me.

Fortunately, we have not been shunned by our families or in making health care decisions (because of our marriage status), which are my biggest fears. Despite this feeling of acceptance, I have built up some tough skin, just in case. So again, don't be concerned with hurting my feelings.

Second, you wrote of The Bible's definition of marriage. I am no expert in the teachings of the Bible, but do know that a lot is written in it that is considered not relevant to today's society. Could the teachings on same-sex marriage be another one of those things? If you want to interpret the Bible in a certain way, that is your choice. I just ask that you leave that interpretation out of state law.

Furthermore, I personally am not looking for marriage equality rights based on what a religious text says. I am looking for equality rights on what my government says. The column I am responding to implies that this amendment only affects "less than three percent" of the population and therefore those people do not matter. What happened to the American ideal of protecting all citizens' rights? I was born in Minnesota and hence, I am a citizen of this country. I have held a job since I was 15-years-old and have always paid my taxes. In most respects, I would consider myself a responsible citizen. Why shouldn't I have the same rights as others? Also, I am not asking to marry just anyone. I am asking to marry another consenting adult who I have been solely committed to for 14 years, longer than many adult relationships of people my age. Why can't this relationship be legally recognized?

Finally, I want to clarify the meaning of this marriage amendment. Voting "No" to the amendment will not automatically make same-sex marriage legal. It will simply mean that the possibility is open for the future. If anyone is willing to consider this possibility for the future, please vote "No" on election day.

-- Katie Eells