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Letter to the editor

Vote ‘No’ on marriage amendment in Minnesota

October 11, 2012

I came to UW-River Falls as a transfer student in 2007. Leaving a big university and coming to rural Wisconsin was an adjustment for me. However, it didn’t take long for me to call this place my temporary home. The sense of community in River Falls and on campus is strong; I know any newcomer is made to feel welcome, even if that individual has differing moral, religious and political views.

Election season is upon us and I know that I’m voting “no” on the proposed marriage amendment, which will appear in Minnesota on the ballot in November. I’ll be voting “no” because of the values I learned in this community and for the people in my life that this amendment would hurt. This community and University taught me values of care, connection and kindness to all of my neighbors, colleagues and professors. For me, this respect extends to all people, no matter who that person loves.

At first I debated whether or not I should write this letter. I know that on the maps, this is a “red” district. I know how this area typically votes and where they usually stand on fiscal and social issues. But I also know the people, the students and staff; this area was my home for two years. Additionally, several students are from Minnesota. And so I decided to write to the editor and share why I am voting no in November.

I met my friend, Sarah, whose name has been changed for privacy reasons, at UWRF. She is a devout Catholic, a person who aspires to marry the person who she loves. Sarah had thought she’d found that person with Jenna, someone who shared her faith, her values, someone with whom she wanted to share a life. Due to efforts like the marriage amendment and the lack of acceptance for their relationship, Jenna left their relationship.

Sarah didn’t choose to be attracted to women any more than I chose to be attracted to men. I want to stand up for her at her wedding when she marries the person she loves, in a community that accepts her. I admire Sarah’s faith, humanity and conviction, and I know that she wants to get married for all of those reasons. If Sarah was your sister, cousin, friend, classmate or roommate, would you want her to be able to marry the person she loves?

On November 6, Minnesotans have a decision to make. A decision that would affect the lives of millions, like Sarah. We don’t choose where we are born, just like we don’t choose who we love. Community matters, and we should all be able to call where we are born home. I hope that more people will follow me and millions of others in opposing this amendment that’s wrong for Sarah and wrong for Minnesota.

Gina Kunesh
Minneapolis, Minn.

Comments

bob champa on 13 Oct 2012: Gina--uncle Bob is very proud of you this day---well said