From: Barbara Beeman
A member of First Congregational Church of Winona
An open and affirming congregation
Please Vote NO on the Proposed Marriage Amendment to the Constitution of Minnesota. U.S. Constitutionally determined rights of the individual when liberated from discrimination, fear, and ignorance gave women and black people the right to vote, guaranteed access of people of all colors, ethnicities, and religions to the rights of the richest white male in America. It isnít perfect and we are in a constant struggle to access and maintain those rights for ourselves. Frederick Douglass said, ďNo man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.Ē The same right to the pursuit of happiness in my lifetime, a very recent past, was not available to interracial couples. Indeed, during my college days here in Winona, a Catholic young man or woman in love with a Lutheran would have run into huge resistance on both sides. We move on. We look back on that discrimination and know it was very wrong. People who find a person to love who loves them back are truly fortunate; to find a person who wants to make a life commitment to fight lifeís battles and celebrate its joys with you is a gift from God. To withhold from another that which you enjoy is wrong.
Please VOTE NO on the proposed Marriage Amendment to the Constitution of Minnesota, a document designed by definition to protect the rights of the minority against the tyranny of the majority. Denying equal rights IS unconstitutional. Those in favor of this amendment want to change the Constitution to make equal rights unavailable to the GLBT community thus closing discussion by making the amendment part of the Constitution. Donít defile this document. It is there to protect rights not limit them. Keep an open mind, invite an open discussion, and keep an open heart. To know as a friend a person in anyway different from yourself is a step toward removing barriers of fear and ignorance and opening your world to the diversity God created.