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Straight Talk: Panel weighs in on gay marriage

By: Lauren Forcella
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Dear Straight Talk: I enjoy the window into the minds of youth that your column provides and I’d like to ask them a question. Gay marriage became legal in June in California, but in November, voters have a chance to reverse that decision and etch into the state constitution that marriage is strictly “between a man and a woman.” Where does youth stand on this issue? Should marriage be something only a man and a woman get to do, or should it be available to same-sex couples as well? — Woodland, CA Dear Woodland: In four years of writing this column, no issue has inspired more passion in the youth panel than defending the rights of gays. At press time, nearly 80 percent of the panel’s input supported same-sex marriage. To read all the panel comments, please visit our Web site at www.straighttalkfor teens.com. From Taylor, 19: I have two gay cousins, one male, one female, whom I love dearly. If they want to marry and call it “marriage,” who am I to judge and prevent that? I don’t believe being gay is a choice. My mom recognized my female cousin was gay when she was 4 years old. That could’ve been me. From Britney, 16: This topic is reminiscent of racial segregation. I believe being gay is not a choice; it’s like having a different skin color. No matter your skin color — or your sexual orientation — we are all still people. Most people against gay marriage cite the Bible. But I’m a Bible-follower, too, and it does not definitely say marriage must be “between a man and a woman.” From Dominic, 22: When I think of marriage, I think of a man and a woman, but the fact that this is a legislative issue is ridiculous. This is the so-called “land of the free.” The role of government is to protect our rights, not to bicker over making them exclusive. From Michael, 16: If gays want to marry, it’s not the government’s position to interfere. They do no harm. On the other hand, I’m unhappy with how the gay agenda is pushed. In almost every movie, a gay or lesbian couple is kissing. Gays have the legal benefits of marriage, why do they need to call it “marriage?” What will be next? From Elise, 17: I have no problem with gays, but marriage is ordained of God and should be between a man and a woman. However, if same-sex couples love each other and wish to be together, they should have many of the same benefits as married couples. From Bird, 18: The marriages a church performs will remain the choice of that church. But the right to a civil marriage should be open to anyone. From Jack, 18: This country preaches that everyone is created equal, so who among us is good enough to say gays can’t get married? From Graham, 15: Gays and lesbians should have equal rights in everything — including marriage. There is not a single reason to refuse them. Some Christians don’t believe in gay marriage. This confuses me. Jesus, himself, said: “Do unto others what you would want done to you.” From Betsy, 20: I have never considered gay marriage complicated. When two people are in love, regardless of their sex, they should be able to get married. Where I get confused is when gay couples are allowed the same rights as married heterosexual couples but aren’t allowed to actually say they’re “married.” Excuse me, but what the heck is the difference? From Lennon, 22: People say it’s in the Bible that marriage is between a man and a woman. Have these people ever heard of “separation of church and state”? If you don’t think gays should be allowed to marry, move to the Middle East where the church rules the state. Oh wait! There are terrorists there! Write to Straight Talk at www.StraightTalkForTeens.com or PO Box 963, Fair Oaks CA 95628.