I really hope that my state Rep. Kurt Bills, who voted for the discriminatory marriage amendment last year, is paying attention to the corporate courage General Mills has displayed.
Since Bills is promising to "bring Econ 101 back to Washington" as the GOP-endorsed U.S. Senate candidate, it might do him well to learn from the executives of one of the largest companies in Minnesota. The LGBT advocacy of General Mills CEO Ken Powell is truly admirable. As Ken Charles, the company's vice president of global diversity and inclusion at General Mills, observed: "We do not believe the proposed constitutional amendment is in the best interests of our employees or our state economy."
In addition to the economic argument against the marriage amendment, it's also an intolerant and indecent piece of legislation. Being a high school teacher in Rosemount, I thought Bills would have been more sensitive to the social struggles LGBT kids face in and out of the school hallways.
Not only can Bills learn more advanced economic lessons from General Mills, but he might want to employ some independent courage, as General Mills did, in his own politicking.
ERIC JAYNE, APPLE VALLEY
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It does not take courage for a corporation to take a stance on something that is "politically correct": It takes courage to take a stand against "political correctness" for the sake of the children. See, the question I have about same-sex "marriage" is: When does a child not need a mother or a father?
JIM HANSEN, MINNEAPOLIS
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Conservative politicians in Minnesota insist that the business climate in our state reflect the needs and concerns of "the job creators." Now that leading corporations St. Jude Medical and General Mills have placed themselves in opposition to a ban on gay marriage for reasons that include the best interests "of our state economy," it seems state legislators have finally found a position of bipartisan agreement!
TODD EMBURY, RAMSEY
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A commentary bemoans the confusion over metro-area town names ("Wherever you go, there you are -- if you are lucky," June 14). Well, it's even worse outstate. I live in Faribault, the county seat of Rice County, not Faribault County. Rice, Minn., is in Stearns County. The county seat of Faribault County is Blue Earth, which obviously is not in Blue Earth County. The county seat of Blue Earth County is Mankato. I'm sure there are dozens more geographic oddities in this state. But these are among the most confusing.
JAMES MATHEWSON, FARIBAULT (RICE COUNTY), MINN.
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John D. Hagen Jr.'s commentary argued about the social consequences that libertarian views of family and sex have on children ("Libertarians on the left are troubling, too," June 13). He rightly points out that those children of single-parent households "fare much worse" than "children of married parents."
But he also makes a stunning statement: "Redefining marriage (the latest left-libertarian project) only would compound our social crisis." Assuming he is referring to same-sex marriage, how could he possibly believe that allowing the formation of more married households would be bad for society?
He told us in great detail how we have harmed children with our "laissez-faire" attitude towards family and sex, detailing the ills of unmarried households, but then he demonizes the idea of loving couples forming the very two-parent, married families that would benefit children?
Unbelievable. I have news for anyone who believes same-sex marriage is bad for children: Prohibiting marriage will not stop gay couples from having and raising children. Allowing same-sex marriage will, however, stabilize gay-parent families just as it does heterosexual-parent families.
STEVE MILLIKAN, MINNEAPOLIS
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Why should I or any employer have to pay for contraceptives for people to have recreational sex? Why has contraception become basic and necessary health care, as stated by a June 12 letter writer?
Having a child is basic and necessary health care. This is another example of people wanting others to pay their way. My recreational activity is a good meal at a fine restaurant, but I don't expect the government or my employer to pay for it.
Nothing in this world is free, and no health care provider is going to pass on the cost of contraception free. Get real, people: Someone will pay for it and I don't feel I should pay for someone else's pleasure.
RALPH STRABLEY, COON RAPIDS
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I recently became an addict, but the addiction will benefit rather than harm me. In fact, it is very healthy. My new addiction is mountain biking. I'm an avid street rider in the cities, but had never mountain biked.
That changed when I went to Brainerd to ride the Paul Bunyan Trail with a relative living there. On the way up, he suggested we meet in Crosby and try a new, world-class mountain biking area. Mining around Crosby has created a mountain that has been turned into fabulous trails, and several clear, cool lakes that are great for swimming.
I had so much fun the first day that I went back for a second. I rented a bike both days, and the service was fantastic. The whole experience was excellent. I encourage all bikers to try it. The area is beautiful, the biking world-class, and the people I met were very friendly and welcoming. I will be going up there frequently.
JEFF WRIGHT, RICHFIELD