I will vote “no” on Question 1 because I believe a person should have the right to marry the person he or she loves, regardless of sexual orientation.

Three of my children have celebrated the rite of marriage. My youngest, however, is denied this opportunity. He is committed to a loving relationship with another man. Together they have created a safe and loving home for my youngest grandchild. They share the same joys and sorrows of any other family. Yet, they are denied a legally recognized marriage. They deserve better.

It is not easy for me to speak out, especially when it means feeling alienated from the church that I have always considered a second home. I feel the door is closing on me and my family. It saddens me that the Catholic Church is fighting for the defeat of this law. Today, my church and I stand apart.

The law before us affects real lives, real people. Can any of us really judge the value of an individual union, heterosexual or homosexual? Each union is as unique as the individuals within it. To categorically assume a gay union is inferior is mean-spirited and not founded in reality. Let God be the judge.

Preserve the law that protects the right to marriage for all Maine citizens. Maybe then, doors will open, church pews will fill again, and we will all be welcomed home.

Yolande H. Dumont, Lewiston

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