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Wed., June 13, 2012

Hands off civil liberties

Regarding Donna Kuhn’s letter (“Religious liberty under assault,” June 9), I fail to see how the decision of my government to offer equal access to a marriage license to a group of people long denied equal treatment, or to allow all of my fellow citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation inhibits your freedom to worship your God as you choose.

Your religion has demonstrated a particular consistency when it comes to excluding the “other” (see defense of slavery, treatment of Native Americans, prohibiting interracial or interfaith marriage, the right of a woman to choose, the opportunity of a woman to serve as pastor or priest).

Sadly, my government shares much of that history, but thankfully has shown that it is capable of righting some of the wrongs it has codified (see abolition of slavery, a woman’s right to vote, a woman’s right to choose, ending segregated education, ending segregated military, Jim Crow era).

If you wish to continue denying me access to your God because of the color of my skin, the way I dress, the car I drive, or whom I choose to marry you are free to do so. Just keep your hands off of my hard-won, secular, civil liberties.

Michael Nelson


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