When I was growing up, two organizations were the cornerstones of my life: the Boy Scouts of America and the Roman Catholic Church. Every month, I would go camping with my troop, and every Sunday, I would attend Mass. These two institutions sculpted me into the man I am today, in more ways than I will probably ever know.
In the Boy Scouts, I learned important skills, developed my leadership abilities, and was taught the importance of trustworthiness, kindness and bravery. In the church, I served as a lector at Mass and a mentor for confirmation. I learned about Jesus’ love and compassion for all people.
I have tried to live by the lessons I learned from these institutions every day of my life. And the biggest lesson I learned from them was to love and respect all people. For me, the ideas of “love thy neighbor” and “do a good turn daily” were the most important to follow every day of your life.
It is with these lessons in my heart that I believe in the freedom to marry for all committed couples. Gay and lesbian couples want to marry for the same reason as anyone — to make a lifetime promise of love.
So it saddens me to see the two organizations that taught me to love other people come out so strongly against the lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender community and their fight for the freedom to marry. Logically and morally, I cannot understand their decisions but even though I strongly disagree with them, I still owe so much to these organizations. I can only hope that in time they will take to heart their own lessons of love and understanding.
This November, I will vote no on the marriage amendment because of the values I learned as a Boy Scout and as a member of the Catholic Church. I encourage you to look to your own values at the polls and take a stand in defense of all families.
Note: A Minnesota same-sex marriage amendment will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. The measure would define marriage in the Minnesota Constitution as between one man and one woman in the state.
BY CONOR HOLT