Your Letters: Churches have 'rites,' people have 'rights'
Sometimes a person has to speak out publicly in defense of the human rights of a group of people. I am speaking about lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender people in general and about good friends and family members in particular.
Every LGBT person I know is someone's brother or sister; someone's son or daughter; someone's grandson or granddaughter. They are citizens of the United States and deserve the same rights as every other citizen - including the right to marry.
Married people have 1,138 federal rights and benefits. These include parenting, taxes, insurance, property, workplace, sickness, health and immigration. These are civil rights that everyone should be able to access.
The rites of marriage, on the other hand, are something different. No religious group should be forced to perform a rite if it goes against their beliefs. People do not have the right to force beliefs on all citizens.
Please vote NO on the marriage amendment. Leave the rites to the churches to decide, but give all citizens their civil and human rights.