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Freedom to marry

To the Editor:

Christmas came two days early for me this year. On Dec. 23, I read the open letter signed by 250 clergy and faith leaders of diverse households of faith supporting passage of marriage equality legislation in Illinois.

As a Catholic mother and great-grandmother married 50 years this coming June, this is a source of great joy to me and the 10 children my two sisters and I have between us – five gay and five non-gay.

That so many church leaders “who work daily to promote justice and fairness for all” proclaim their belief in the freedom to marry and that all Illinois couples “should have the same civil protections ... to promote the common good – that which is best for individuals, couples, families, children, and society” is great news to our extended family.

Their letter emphasizes the fact that the Religious Freedom and Fairness Act “protects religious freedom and guarantees that all faiths will decide which marriages should be consecrated and solemnized within their tradition.”

Passage of this legislation would mean that happy parents will be able to cry at all our kids’ weddings – at the courthouse before the judge or in the church or the temple!

I know that regardless of who our kids love and desire to marry, they are all created equal with certain unalienable rights and that no matter what their sexual orientation or gender attraction or expression might be are equal in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Why do those words sound familiar?

That’s what our leaders proclaimed when they founded this great nation.

Barbara Marian

Harvard

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