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Letters - 'No' vote will 'destroy' traditional family unit

Regarding the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment: As a retired teacher and mother of four, I have experienced the importance of a Mom and Dad being involved in a child's life -- attending school conferences, musical programs, athletic events -- I've seen children's eyes search the crowd looking for their very own parents. I've seen the joy light up their face when they see them, and when eye contact is made, the enthusiastic wave (or if the child is older, a more subdued nod of the head). Children thrive on parental involvement in their lives.

Another observation -- a mom cannot be a dad, and a dad cannot be a mom. We moms bring our perspective to the family unit and dad brings his -- stronger together, weaker when divided. An article in the Fargo Forum of July 31, 2012 shared interviews done with several single parents, both moms and dads. They shared some very similar thoughts along the lines of doing the best they could, but feeling the absence of a spouse, of the opposite sex, very often. A mom is a role model for both her sons and daughter, as a dad is a role model for his sons and daughters.

This family unit of mom, dad, kids has been around since time began and even though it has many flaws, it works pretty good. Mom, dad, kids, when they work together it's the best guarantee we have of maintaining a healthy, and strong society.

Ask yourself these questions as you contemplate your vote: Will changing the definition of marriage as we know it strengthen or further weaken the families in our state? Are we ready to participate in destroying this long respected and protected family unit because a very small group of people insist that it's their right?

We read on a daily basis the violence and heartache that shattered families suffer -- how would changing the definition of a family help? Think carefully, then vote wisely.

-- Marlene Nielsen, Lake Park