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Susan Nyberg letter: Gay couples deserve benefits of union

Supporters of the Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage are fervently opposed to gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender North Dakotans having the same rights and privileges as other citizens. They have misled potential supporters wit...

Supporters of the Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage are fervently opposed to gay, bisexual, lesbian and transgender North Dakotans having the same rights and privileges as other citizens. They have misled potential supporters with scare tactics and unsubstantiated rhetoric by stating that same-sex families are unhealthy, unnatural environments for children and will somehow diminish the value of their own families. Their allegations are untrue.

They have stated that by supporting gay marriage it is assumed that the gay community endorses polygamy and group unions. This is blatantly false. Gay couples want to choose a life partner, commit to them legally, and be given the benefits of that union. They are not asking for special privileges, but for equal rights as taxpaying citizens of the state of North Dakota.

As far as diminishing the value of existing heterosexual marriages, how can loving, committed gay couples in any way alter that statistic? The supporters of this amendment feel it is acceptable to use the Constitution as means of denying rights to individuals through discrimination. That is in direct contradiction of the spirit in which the document was written. It was written to guarantee the rights of all North Dakotans, not just the heterosexual ones.

It is my sincere hope that prejudice and bigotry will not find its way into voting booths on Nov. 2. I have always believed that North Dakota was a state that cared about its families and I hope that sentiment is extended to those in the gay community.

Susan M. Nyberg

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