-- RITA MAGNAGHI, Kennewick
Through the "everything-but-marriage" law same-sex couples have all the rights and benefits of married couples. Changing the definition of marriage will have profound negative consequences that I believe most people haven't considered, even those advocating for this change. The following examples are issues that have already occurred in states that have redefined marriage.
Religious groups who have refused to make their facilities available for same sex couples have lost their state tax exemption. Charitable groups, who provide adoption services, will have to choose between fulfilling their social mission based on their religious beliefs or be forced to close their charitable adoption agencies. Non-profit groups are faced with abandoning their historic mission principles in order to maintain governmental contracts for things like low-income housing, health clinics etc.
In Massachusetts, students are taught about gay marriage in school and the courts have ruled that parents have no right to prior notice or to opt their children out of this instruction.
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Redefining marriage is one more step in destroying the "family" -- mother, father and children. Our country has been great because of our belief in God and family. We must re-embrace the true definition of marriage.