Celebrating a new era, but not without dissent
Looking at the photos in the Aug. 1 Star Tribune of same-sex couples getting ready for their weddings brought a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. When I saw the joy and love in their faces and in the faces of their friends, it reminded me of what marriage is all about.
Back in the 1980s, it was very common to have the verse “Today I will marry my friend; the one I laugh with, live for, love.” Maybe it’s a little trite, but yet there is much truth in it. Marriage isn’t just about children and sex.
When I married my husband, it was because, out of all the people in the world, he was the one I wanted to share my life with. I wanted his face to be the last thing I saw before I went to sleep at night and the first thing I saw when I woke up in the morning. When something made me happy, I couldn’t wait to share it with him, and when something made me sad, his arms around me brought comfort that I couldn’t find anywhere else.
It’s not just a special friendship; it’s a oneness that we share. Marriage is a commitment to that one other person in the world who makes you feel complete. I rejoice with all the couples marrying today and in the future. It’s about time you had the chance.
KATHLEEN BARTEMES, Austin, Minn.
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In defense of recent letter writers who were opposed to and saddened by the gala kickoff of the new Minnesota gay marriage law, I offer the following: The recent passing of my bride and lifetime partner came after 64 years of marriage. She was a legitimate model of what true marriage between a man and woman represented. She mothered and raised seven children while at the same time assisting me in a business venture. Before she died, while she was in home hospice, we often spoke about our life beyond death. We acknowledged our love for each other and shared firm belief that God would grant us his final reward by granting us eternal wedlock in his Holy Kingdom. Can the new wedding rules meet this criteria?
STANLEY J. KONDZIOLA, Brooklyn Park
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Remember the saying, “Marriages are made in heaven”? A piece of paper and a ceremony at city hall — even with the approval of a Legislature — do not a marriage make. We have lots of weddings, but not many marriages, no matter how much some wish it were so.
JAMES CARDINAL, Minnetonka
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Congratulations, Minnesota! It’s obvious that heterosexuals do not have a monopoly on love and commitment.
TOM MOONEY, Aspen, Colo.
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Don’t use 9/11 to justify ignoring Bill of Rights
It should be no surprise to anyone that the NSA has overstepped its proper role by keeping data on all American citizens. The juggernaut nature of broad, bureaucratic institutions and the national security frenzy following 9/11 made many ready to throw the Bill of Rights under the bus. The victims of 9/11 were no less heroic than the casualties of any of America’s battles, but their deaths should not be used as justification for redefining our country’s founding principles. That is the opposite conclusion to draw from their sacrifices. So many have died defending our rights. Let’s not diminish them through our reluctance to reign in the NSA to find a proper balance. None of their secret operations should ever be beyond congressional or judicial oversight.
BOB WORRALL, Roseville
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Aggressive driving is making roads unsafe
The story on state traffic deaths was excellent, but as a downtown Minneapolis resident I can tell you that driving west on Interstate 394 presents much bigger problems than were reported (“State traffic deaths are on the rise again,” July 31).
Aggressive driving is on the rampage. Tailgating, passing when there isn’t room to pass safely, weaving in and out of lanes at top speed — not to mention slow drivers who stubbornly cling to the fast lane, causing frustrated drivers to weave recklessly in an effort to pass them.
Sadly, “Minnesota Nice” is long gone. Just try to enter a freeway or highway. Many drivers already on the road speed up so cars on the entry ramps can’t join them.
SHARON WALLER, Minneapolis
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If freight train stays, count on an exodus
Why would any resident of Cedar Lake Shores townhouses continue to live in Minneapolis if freight trains remain beside the proposed Southwest Corridor light-rail line (“Tension rises as light-rail call looms,” July 28)? We believed our city representatives when they assured us that the freight trains would be relocated. Now we read that they are about to compromise, while their suburban counterparts remain resolute. So if our townhouses are destroyed and we are forced to relocate instead of freight trains, then we 57 homeowners will take our eminent-domain payouts and our local taxes to those suburbs, where three or four trains a day through a football field are prized more dearly than existing homes. And this does not even address the destruction of a wonderful link joining the Midtown Greenway to the Kenilworth Trail that is the delight of bike riders throughout the area.
DAVID E. ZITARELLI, Minneapolis
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.