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Measure disrespects our children, family

We have been as married as we can be for 15 years. We met, got to know each other and fell in love in Bemidji. After dating for three years we came to the realization that we love each other and couldn’t imagine going through life without the other at our side. Those three years of getting to know each other was everything one might imagine it would be: We felt joyful, hesitant, passionate and emotional, scared, fulfilled and incredibly hope-filled for having found that one person to share life with.

We knew we couldn’t get married like others but felt something was missing. So once we made a decision to commit to being together we decided to make as many things as legal as we could. We worked with a lawyer who helped us draw up wills, health care directives and changed the mortgage and cars to both of our names.

Still something was missing. So we went to Ely and had a lovely commitment ceremony, just the two of us. We shared vows and even had a processional. We were on a high with our new life together. And still something was missing. So five years after we started dating we decided to have a celebration and blessing of our love for each other. A minister of our church officiated as we committed ourselves to support, care for and love each other in front of our beloved community of family and friends. We are now moms to 6- and 7-year old boys who make us laugh and cry, proud and mad and incredibly grateful.

Still there is something missing. Something that feels even more important to us now. While explaining what the “Vote No” signs mean, one son asked “But who will help us decide who to live with if we can’t all live together?” You see, he understands us to be married. Because in our culture that is what most people who love each other do. He sees it with his friend’s families. If we couldn’t be married he was afraid we would have to get divorced and not be all together. If this amendment passes, our children will hear that our family is not good enough to be together. The constitution should not be used to disrespect or hurt our children and our family.

Please vote “no” on this hurtful amendment.