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Marriage equality in Georgia matters to me

Letter to the editor

My name is Lee Raines. My husband is Andrew De Los Reyes. We have been in a loving, committed relationship for 15 years. We were married in a civil ceremony at Riverside Memorial Church in New York City on Sept. 27, 2003.

We are a rare and fortunate couple — we enjoy wholehearted, enthusiastic support from our families. Our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews and cousins attended our ceremony along with many loving friends. (In 2010, we became legally married.) We moved to Georgia to be closer to our family and to take care of my mother, who has suffered recent health setbacks.

Ironically, in the state of Georgia, Drew and I are geographically closer to our family, but legally we are not recognized as a married couple. This situation is unfair and unconstitutional. We are not second-class citizens. We deserve full and equal rights.

My husband is Marine Corps veteran. He served honorably in Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. His unit, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Regiment, was the first to cross the line of departure into Kuwait and into Kuwait City, liberating the country. He was awarded multiple honors, including the Kuwait Liberation and Navy Achievement Medals.

My father, Langdon Howard Raines (born in Ashburn), was a World War II veteran (lieutenant colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps). Andrew’s father is a U.S. Army veteran. Both of our fathers welcomed us warmly, openly and without prejudice into their families. They spoke movingly at our commitment ceremony, and took special pride in Andrew’s service to his country.

We are Georgians. We are a fully committed couple. We deserve the same rights granted to all married couples in the state of Georgia.

LEE RAINES

Atlanta

Comments

MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

I CAN'T HAVE 2 WIVES. IS THAT MARRIAGE DISCRIMINATION?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

I sure don't want TWO wives. ONE is work enough!

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Your terminology is pretty good here. I hope she doesn't know who you are on the blog. LOL.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

I caught a jab to the ribs for it. :)

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

I DON'T GET IT. YOU AND THE "HUSBAND" ARE "MARRIED" LEGALLY ALTHOUGH IN ANOTHER STATE. WHAT DO YOU WANT THE STATE OF GA TO DO? ARE YOU TO BE CONSIDERED THE WIFE? OR A CO-HUSBAND? WHAT ARE "GAY RIGHTS"? WHAT LAWS DISCRIMINATE OR ALLOW DISCRIMINATION AGAINST GAYS. THERE ARE LAWS THAT PROVIDE PROTECTIONS FROM DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION ALREADY. WHAT ABOUT DISCRIMINATION AGAINST THOSE WHO PRACTISE PLURAL MARRIAGE? SHOULD THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO MORE THAN ONE SPOUSE, ALL CONSENTING ADULTS? THERES NO SUCH THING AS GAY MARRIAGE, JUST MAN'S CORRUPTION OF A SACRED INSTITUTION.

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Jax 1 year, 6 months ago

What's wrong with polygamy? Didn't Solomon have over 700 wives? Once again, how does the state recognizing these two people in marriage effect you one iota?

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

HOW DOES THE STATE NOT RECOGNIZING THEM BECOME DISCRIMINATION? THE STATE DOESN'T RECOGNIZE POLYGAMY, BUT THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO LIVE IN A POLYGAMOUS RELATIONSHIP ANYWAY CAN DO SO KNOWING THAT THE STATE DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THEM. SHOULD THEY NOW PROTEST AND DEMAND THE RIGHT TO PLURAL MARRIAGES. AT LEAST THERE'S A BIBLICAL HISTORY.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

Weren't blacks and whites not allowed to marry not too long ago?

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agirl_25 1 year, 6 months ago

Virginia disallowed blacks and whites from marrying. I remember because my husband, when we were stationed in the Philippines, had a young black man in his squadron who was married to a white lady from Texas and they got transfer orders to Virginia. He requested to be reassigned and was. Decades before the same-sex marriage movement, the U.S. government tackled the controversial issue of "miscegenation": race-mixing. The Deep South banned interracial marriages until 1967, but less widely known that many other states did the same (California until 1948, for example) - or that three attempts were made to ban interracial marriages nationally by amending the U.S. Constitution.

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LuLu 1 year, 6 months ago

You do have full and equal rights. What you want are special rights.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

How do you figure they have "full and equal rights"?

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Jax 1 year, 6 months ago

Their argument is that everyone has the right to marry someone of the opposite sex. No discrimination there.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

I congratulate you on the stable, fulfilling relationship you enjoy as a couple and as an extended family. I compliment Mr. De Los Reyes for his military service and you on your caring for your mother, that is a great service too. There is no reason for you to be denied basic equal protection under the law as a married gay couple. While the country has moved substantially to tolerance of your lifestyle many have not for various reasons. I hope SCOTUS has the courage to correct the inequities.

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

"Marriage - the institution under which a man and a woman become legally united on a permanent basis" - Websters Dictionary. If , in a civil union , you are awarded the same rights and benefits as marriages would you be satisfied? Or do you want to rewrite the dictionary and the Bible to suit your own desires?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually the definition of "marriage" by Merriam-Webster Dictionary is:

Definition of MARRIAGE

a (1) : the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2) : the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage

b : the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock

c : the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage

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ScubaGolfJim 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't give a Sh_t about rewriting the buybull. Keep those fables for yourselves. Your archaic religious BS has NO RIGHT or basis in LAW. And the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees that. And yes, it IS Freedom FROM Religion just as it is Freedom OF Religion.

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Albanite 1 year, 6 months ago

Marriage between a man and a woman isn't "top-down". It is a protection offered by the government for the economic and social unit that produces children. This issue, a supreme court case involving just 8 homosexual couples, has taken a national spotlight because so many homosexuals want what their parents and society have denied to them... someone to say that homosexuality is normal and acceptable. Since society won't, since religion won't, since the law won't... they are desperate for the courts to proclaim them "normal." Every society in history marks the beginning of its collapse at the point when homosexuality became acceptable and the importance of the heterosexual-family unit became dimished. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

"Every society in history marks the beginning of its collapse at the point when homosexuality became acceptable and the importance of the heterosexual-family unit became dimished. "

Are you kidding me?!

In all seriousness, did you think it was acceptable to treat blacks differently, or not allow whites to marry them?

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Somebody 1 year, 6 months ago

God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

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Jax 1 year, 6 months ago

Who the hell created Steve then?

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VSU 1 year, 6 months ago

His momma and daddy! either that or his momma and spern donar.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

If straight people would quit having gay children we wouldn't be in this mess now would we?

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ScubaGolfJim 1 year, 6 months ago

Your Gawd created Adam and Eve? And they begat their sons, and obviously their daughters that the sons then scre_ed and married and created more offspring. Your buybull supports INCEST yet it is illegal.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

WHAT HAS ADAM AND STEVE BEGAT? YOU DON'T WANT ME TO HAVE TO TELL YOU. NEXT SOME DOCTOR WILL FIND A WAY FOR A MAN TO CARRY A BABY. THERE'S ONLY ONE WAY OUT, SO FAR.

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WTFwtf 1 year, 6 months ago

Revolution- ive never heard of someone living according to the dictionary??? Do u follow the word of encyclopedias n cookbooks too? Whats with all these people incapable of having an original thought? Its simple. 2 people wanna get married let em get married. Noones going to hell. Society wont crumble bc of this. I value personal freedom. Sell all yer fire n brimstone jazz to someone else. Its 2013 not 33 AD

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

Where did you learn to read and write. How did you learn what is lawful and not? Were these all just your original thoughts . Everybody learns from someone else from the day they were born. You are free to think anything you want to think based on the information you have received. Whether it is right or wrong.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 6 months ago

People fail to realize the Bible is a VERY large book and contains condemning information on every aspect of life...dont pick and choose what to read and follow...because for the one thing you use the Bible as justification for another 3 can be found against something in your life.....

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

Wrong. "Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such there is no law. Forgive me when I am lacking in some of these.

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southwestga 1 year, 6 months ago

Thanks for your letter. I know it takes courage to open yourself up to all this ridicule. Thanks to you, and those who have come before you, this discriminating is rapidly declining. May we soon get to the point where no one really cares what living, consenting adults do. And where you can have the same respect and financial benefits that heterosexuals enjoy. God bless you.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

NO ONE REALLY CARES ALREADY. THEY'VE BEEN IGNORED WITH A LIVE AND LET LIVE ATTITUDE FOR DECADES. NOW THEY ARE DEMANDING RIGHTS EXCLUSIVE TO HOMOSEXUALS.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

I would hardly call it, "live and let live".

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ScubaGolfJim 1 year, 6 months ago

Actually, I don't believe anyone cares about your pathetic drivel mrkia. They (and many more) are demanding equal rights that allows two consenting adults to legally marry the one that they love. Now where the EFF does that say "homosexuals only?" No one likes a bigot or hypocrite. You think that only homosexuals are supporting this? Your spewed hatred so implies. And I guess only blacks were for the Civil Rights Movement in the 50's and 60's, right? No. The intelligent and informed were. Bigots and racists were against it, as they are now in this matter. But they call themselves "christians."

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 6 months ago

Ok a little Devil’s advocate.

  1. Why do some say “o no” they can’t be married but it is “ok” for them to have a civil union. Are we just trying to protect the word “Marriage”?
  2. Beyond your religious beliefs is there a reason to be against gay unions?
  3. If we believe in separation of Church and State can we also believe it is a State’s right to allow a union without the blessings of a religion?
  4. Is there to reason to view a gay union as a threat to a religious marriage?
  5. Are you aware you have a friend, acquaintance, co-worker or even a family member who is gay or they know someone who is gay and afraid to come out because of so many people hating them.

A good example is the couple who wrote today’s Letter. As a couple why should they not have the same legal rights as a M/F couple? Not “Special” rights but simply the same rights that M/F couples enjoy.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Cogent points, taxpayer. A couple of things which occur in reading comments about dictionary and biblical definitions. The lexicographers at MW & OED edit the dictionary frequently to include words and definitions made popular by general use. For example, the word "snafu" is a new word originating circa 1940-45, it was an abbreviation popularized by military slang, Situation Normal, All F--ked Up - snafu. Regarding the bible, it's interesting how people of the religious fringe proclaim a revelation but never see it revelatory.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

THE SAME ONES ADVOCATING HOMOSEXUALITY AS ACCEPTABLE ARE THE THE SAME ONES WHO WOULD LOCK UP FOR LIFE SOMEONE WHO USES DRUGS. HAS ANYONE FROM THE GAY COMMUNITY EVER SPOKEN OUT AGAINST THE FLOOD OF HOMOSEXUAL PREISTS WHO HAVE FORCED THEMSELVES ON YOUNG MEN? ASK ONE OF THE VICTIMS WHAT THEY THINK OF THE LIFESTYLE.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

NO TAKERS ON THIS SUBJECT IT SEEMS.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

You are not aware of the GAY communities repugnance of the Roman Catholic Churches history of sexual abuse obviously. Well they are and they have helped many of the young men and women who were victims. Also you should know that it was a responsible GAY GOP congressional staffer who stopped the sexual abuse of young Congressional male pages by GOP Representative Mark Foley of Florida who at the time was sponsoring a bill handing out longer sentences for child abuse and exploitation.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

NO I WAS NOT AWARE AND WHILE I DO NOT DOUBT THAT THERE ARE MANY GAYS WHO ARE OUTRAGED BY THE ABUSE EITHER BY PRIESTS, POLITICIANS OR ANYONE ELSE STRAIGHT OR GAY, IT WOULD DO THEIR CAUSE GOOD TO EXPRESS IT IN THE SAME IN YOUR FACE FASHION AS THEIR DESIRE TO BE MARRIED. MY BITING COMMENTS ASIDE, I'D LIKE TO THINK OF MYSELF AS REASONABLE PERSON BUT THE GOV'T OR IT'S LEGAL SYSTEM SHOULD NOT LEGITIMIZE THIS LIFESTYLE OR ENCOURAGE IT BY ENDOWING GAY COUPLES WITH THE SAME PRIVILEDGES AS A M/F COUPLE.SOLELY BECAUSE THE PAIRING ISN'T NATURAL, THATS ENOUGH FOE ME. HATING THEM? NO.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

MRKIA, You are the one bringing the subject "HAS ANYONE FROM THE GAY COMMUNITY EVER SPOKEN OUT." I'm giving you an answer to your question with verifiable substance and you turn away. Are you just venting? (Y)ou should know that it was a responsible GAY GOP congressional staffer who stopped the sexual abuse of young Congressional male pages by GOP Representative Mark Foley of Florida who at the time was sponsoring a bill handing out longer sentences for child abuse and exploitation.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 6 months ago

Let's cut to the chase...it is all about money and votes..

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey, itty! Where have you been? I love your name. My wife has a seal point named "Miss Itty Fitty" and I always think of you when we call her.

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My2cents 1 year, 6 months ago

God created male and female for the purpose that they would procreate. He also Blessed their union and called that marriage. Along comes Gay and Lesbians, who are now demanding the same rights as heterosexual couples. YES, man can change laws and make it legal ....BUT, one thing that will NEVER change is their ability to procreate as a couple.They can adopt, use surrogates, sperm donation, incomplete transgender,...or any other artificial means, ...but NO WAY will they ever create a biological child of their own, by themselves with no other intervention....they are incapable of this. Just might be God's way of saying it is wrong. Our society is so worried about peoples rights. I have them also, but mine don't matter. My values and religious beliefs get trampled on everyday, all I can say is "I answer to a higher power, God." I will face judgement one day and I hope that my Lord will find me worthy. God loves the sinner, not the sin...as do I.

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

Here is another military abbreviation that perfectly describes this whole topic, FUBAR.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't think it applies here. Folks on the thread seem to have a good grasp of the topic and the issues even if there is disagreement. I do like the acronym, it's pretty snappy.

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REM 1 year, 6 months ago

REPOSTED FROM A FRIEND (I hate I can't take the credit). In a country that was founded largely for the purpose of escaping a system of governments in Europe that derived their legitimacy from overarching authority of the Catholic Church, the religious Right has done an excellent job of creating a similar atmosphere in the U.S.—using religion to justify legislation. It is perfectly permissible (and advisable in my opinion) for religion to be the inspiration for legislation (as that's generally where good morals come from), but, per the Constitution, religion cannot be used as the sole basis for a law (…like in many Islamic countries; not working so well for them, is it). The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…" Thus, to use only the Bible's definition of marriage is fundamentally against the Constitution. The only way in which it might be okay to use this definition would require it to be the only definition, further requiring Christianity to have a monopoly on marriage (which existed long before Jesus came and in every other non-Christian part of the world). Now it is an argument over how to define marriage, so let's break it down into it's basic parts. The execution of a marriage usually exists of the religious ceremony and the licensing paperwork, but a marriage CAN be performed with only one of these: the license. Religious marriage ceremonies existed long before licenses, so you don't need a license to be married in the eyes of God, but that's a personal matter. On the flip side, you don't need a god to be married in the eyes of the law, which is a legal matter—specifically prohibited from being influenced by any "establishment of religion."

So now that we've gotten over the hurdle of religion, let's put the shoe on the other foot in regard to Constitutional rights. We don't like the raging liberals trying to take away our guns. Why? Because the Constitution says we can have them. For them to seek such impositions on your life is for them to legitimize the attack on gay rights, making it okay to infringe on Constitutional rights. Likewise, for Right-Wingers to seek to limit someone else's Constitutional rights is for them to legitimize the Left staking claims to our guns (what's good for the goose is good for the gander, you know).

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REM 1 year, 6 months ago

CONTINUED If you've seen the movie Lincoln, you might remember the floor debate on the 13th Amendment when Lee Pace's character, Fernando Wood, proclaims, "Congress must never declare equal those whom God created unequal!" Watching that today, it's hard to believe that good Christian folks legitimately believed that God created black people unequal from white people; it’s certainly nowhere in the Bible, but for centuries (even well into more than half of the century in which all of us were born—assuming no one under 13 is reading this) white people used religion, Christian religion, to justify such foolishness (you should also watch The Help if you haven't seen it…or again if you have. ha). Even if you are still a racist (and I know a few), no one could possibly hope to generate a convincing legal argument against civil rights or women's rights, or a whole host of other discriminatory laws that have existed over the history of our country. It seems ridiculous that it took measures as drastic as amending the Constitution to specifically provide for rights that, in retrospect, were clearly already provided for in the original language of the Constitution (you know that whole bit about holding truths and inalienable rights to be self-evident, and so forth).

The issue of gay rights is the same thing. Even if you don't like it, the framework of our government, based on guaranteed and protected rights, does not allow this government to deny its citizens their rights. There are lots of things that are legal in this country that the Bible prohibits, but even those are debated within the various groups of Christianity (drinking alcohol, use of birth control, whether or not women should wear pants and cut their hair or hold leadership positions in a church; the list goes on). The Bible also says that no one sin is greater than another, so why then is this one particular issue something that so many people take such an adamant stance against. I just don't get it.

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

I am a christian. I confess that I am a sinner and try to overcome my own weakness. I believe that my sin is just as bad as anyone else. I don't try to make other people think that MY sin is acceptable and theirs is not. To try to compare this debate to the civil rights and womens rights movements is insulting. We come into this world innocent whether we are black or white , male or female. As we grow we make choices from what we learn from the world around us. Look at what our children are learning from the world today and then tell me that all is well.

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

@REVNOW: I COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER AND IT SPEAKS FOR MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. I DON'T HATE HOMOSEXUALS AND I HAVE ENCOUNTERED MANY OF THAT LIFESTYLE. I TREAT THEM AS I WOULD ANYONE ELSE OF THEIR GENDER.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

Except you would prevent them from engaging in civil marriage as a matter of legal definition and enforcement. That is clearly discriminatory and unconstitutional. If you read and look at what the author in the two remarks offered you have to be honest and say it threads the proverbial American constitutional needle.

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

They say you can't legislate morality, but in this case it seems that a change in morals is what they seek. By justifying this behavior , the boundaries of what people will find acceptable in society will be expanded. Where will it end?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

Whether or not you are in favor of legalizing gay marriage, to look to the government as a moral compass is irresponsible.

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revolutionnow 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't. I look to the word of God as my moral compass, just as our founding fathers did. I think that making laws to justify perversion is irresponsible.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 6 months ago

If they were created that way by God, how can it be a perversion? Being gay is not a sickness nor is it a choice.

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