The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 17, 2012

Murray: In marriage debate, listening can be enlightening

— My work day ended Thursday at roughly 5:30 p.m. Punched out. Done for the day. On my own time. Free to do what I want, right?

After making omelets, toast and bacon for the kids (including an interesting product I refer to as “fake ’n” for the vegetarian in the house, my daughter and I headed out the door. Ten minutes later we were sitting in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

I know what you’re thinking. Robb? In a church? Puh-leez.

It’s 100 percent true. And we weren’t alone.

While the room wasn’t brimming with people, there was enough to call it a gathering. A gathering for what?

A representative from Minnesotans United for All Families had come to conduct a workshop. MUFAF is the group that is opposed to the proposed constitutional amendment that would embed into our state’s governing document this idea: That marriage should only be the province of the heterosexual, that two people of the same gender, no matter how in love they are, no matter how committed they are, should not have the same right to marriage as a man and woman who are in love do.

Along with the MUFAF rep, there was another person at the front of the room. It was Lisa Coons, a woman I’ve known for a quite a while.

Lisa is one of those people who, when you see her, your heart instantly warms. She exudes a uncommon kind of goodness. Every ounce of her is positive and affirming. I just want to bake her some cookies or something, or have her over for a beer to discuss the meaning of life.

For purposes of this article, I’ll also say this about Lisa: she’s sometimes the first phone call when someone in the newsroom is doing a story on gays or lesbians, and we need to talk to “one of them.”

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