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posted: 7/25/2013 9:32 AM

Keep religion out of marriage rights debate

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It never ceases to amaze me how religious zealots use The Bible to justify obstructing the civil rights of nontraditional families because in their eyes, the families of gay and lesbian couples don't measure up morally and therefore are unworthy of civil rights and protections that heterosexual couples and their families enjoy.

In the July 17 letter to the editor submitted by James Dubinski, he shares excerpts from a letter he sent to Gov. Pat Quinn admonishing him for supporting same-sex marriage. Of course the basis of his argument is that "homosexuality is sinful and abnormal behavior that should not be condoned and encouraged by passing laws that grant them the same rights as heterosexual married couples."

Mr. Dubinski goes on to quote Old Testament Bible verses to support his argument. The fact is not all Catholics and Christians share his views or biblical interpretations, and many others have entirely different belief systems including atheists and agnostics.

I am sure nobody would argue his right to his religious beliefs. However, for him and others to feel entitled to impose their religious biases and judgment onto those who have a difference of opinion is arrogant and unjust.

Marriage is a religious institution that is recognized by our government for civil purposes where a lengthy list of rights, privileges and protections are guaranteed.

Those entitlements shouldn't be accessible only to those tax paying citizens who are heterosexual, but to gay and lesbian couples and their families as well. Regardless of anyone's argument based on religious bias, this is a logical, compassionate and equitable solution to the marriage equality debate.

Patrick Carle

Gurnee

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