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Letter: DL City Council member takes stand against marriage amendment

I could write a letter opposing the marriage amendment for many different reasons. I believe that a constitution is an instrument to protect the rights of the populace, not to take them away. That alone would make me vote NO. I believe that to deny a right that so many of us take for granted to a group of people that are "different" than we are is discrimination, and that alone would make me vote "no".

However, like many people in our state, the proposed amendment to limit marriage to one man and one woman affects me personally. I have a gay son. Erik grew up in this community and was confirmed at First Lutheran Church. He shared his gifts with his church, his school and many of you reading this letter. It's personal. He has developed into a caring, compassionate person, due, in large part to all of the people here in Detroit Lakes who were so encouraging and kind. You looked at him as that talented young singer, the nice young man who was polite, and you still ask me about him. It's personal. He, like thousands of other gay people, has established a career and entered a long term relationship which has seen him through job changes for him and his partner, three geographical moves, two homes, a health crisis, and the loss of his father and grandfather. It's personal. I celebrate his victories in life and I mourn his losses. I thank God for making Erik who he is and, because the Lord created him, I don't believe He intends for Erik to live without the love, the support, and the commitment that marriage brings. It's personal.

Supporters of this amendment want us to vote to protect traditional marriage. Which kind -- the marriage that was arranged by their parents when the bride and groom were young, the marriage where the size of the bride's dowry determined which family would take her, the marriage between two royal families to further their political power? History has shown us that who you could or could not marry was often determined by race, by economic status, by color, by religion. It's time to put this marital discrimination aside, and vote "no" on the marriage amendment. It's personal. -- Madalyn Sukke, Detroit Lakes

(Due to space limitations, this letter did not run in the Sunday Record)