We should not have to sacrifice marriage

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This letter is in support of all who still have the courage to defend traditional marriage and family.

Everywhere we look, proponents of Referendum 74 are trying to shame any who believe the definition of marriage should remain unchanged. We are assumed to be bigots who are denying others basic "civil rights."

It is absolutely ridiculous to say that opponents of this measure are "denying people the opportunity to spend their lives with the person they love," or discriminating against certain couples and not others. The beauty of America is the freedom to spend your life however and with whomever you wish.

This issue is not about civil rights. It is not about equality or tolerance. Every person in this great country has the right to marry. Every man has the right to marry a woman and every woman has the right to marry a man. There is no inequality in that statement. Some choose not to marry, but instead choose another path. That is their right as well.

Marriage is not about two people. It is an ancient religious rite that bonds a man and a woman with God in order to create together the next generation -- both body and soul. It is about binding a child to his father and mother. As such, the institution has rightly been upheld and protected by societies and governments since the beginning of man.

To abandon it now would be catastrophic. To change it now would render it meaningless.

People of faith everywhere have been bombarded with an appeal to their compassion and tolerance by those who would equate this issue to "equal human rights." Do not be so fooled. We can be compassionate and loving and still protect the traditional family. We can embrace diversity, end discrimination and open every opportunity without altering the basic unit of human society.

Justice and mercy do not require us to offer as a sacrifice our most sacred ordinance: Marriage.

Jolie Jenkins

Walla Walla

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