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Letter: Support the civil union legislation

To the Editor:

Congratulations to Tim Kelly on introducing his bill concerning civil unions. I have been outspoken against same-sex marriage, but I applaud and support this bill.

The homosexual community has clearly felt slighted and even oppressed at not being able to share in the same privileges and protections that married couples do. This bill would end this inequity. It provides civil unions with the exact same rights as marriages.

And yet this bill protects the name of marriage, reserving it between a man and a woman.

I was reminded about how important this word is while driving six boys and one girl, ages 5-10, back from a church event. As expected, it became extremely loud and inevitably the conversation degraded to, "Joe and Lisa sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!" (I can't believe the song is still around.)

With only one girl, the options were limited I thought, until Lisa threw it back at the boys saying, "Nathan and Dan, sitting in a tree ... ." Curiously, the conversation turned to whether this could or even should happen.

Some were positive it couldn't, but several thought it could.

"Well," the latter group replied, "a boy and a boy can get married!"

The entire group accepted the impressively conclusive argument, and all proceeded to continue the inane chant full of new kissing combination possibilities. Fortunately, I had finally reached home to disperse them back to their families ending the madness.

I learned something important, however. Children are listening to what adults are saying, even about controversial adult issues. Their lives will be shaped by what we decide as acceptable or unacceptable.

That's what makes this debate so crucial. If same sex couples are allowed to marry, that decision won't affect my life, but it will alter children's lives. They would grow up with a fair amount of confusion about dating, especially in the teenage and college years. I believe kids will be hurt.

I would encourage everyone, especially those groups in Red Wing concerned with this issue, to read the bill and publicly support the measure our own Representative has authored.

Wm. David Farrar

Red Wing