The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 2, 2013

Minnesota got it right on gay marriage

In my opinion, the Minnesota legislative vote on the same-sex marriage bill was correct in establishing equal rights for all individuals in Minnesota.

The amendment to ban gay marriage was defeated in November and the Legislature responded to many individuals who believe all people in this state should have the right to marry.

Some individuals may not agree with me. I respect their right to disagree with me, but when Peter Etzell expresses his views by using his Catholic religious teachings to condemn others, shame people and use name calling, I don’t think he is representing the principles of the Catholic Church.

During the amendment debates, he called all people who didn’t agree with him atheists. I thought that acceptance and tolerance were foundations of the church.

It appears that Peter Etzell finds it acceptable to interpret the Bible to reflect his own prejudice and intolerance. I sincerely hope that all Catholics don’t share his personal judgmental views.

Etzell thinks that children should be protected from the negative impact of gay marriage. Ironically, this same individual has never commented about the sexual abuse of children by some priests in the Catholic Church. I believe there are many victims who did not receive the church’s protection.

I don’t believe gay marriage in Minnesota will damage children as he would lead you to believe. Sexual abuse hurts children both physically and emotionally. Being gay is not a grave sin but I believe sexual abuse is.

Minnesota, you got it right. We should commend Gov. Mark Dayton and our Legislature for their efforts supporting equal rights for all our citizens.

Sharon Bennett

North Mankato

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