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Your Views: Gay marriage shouldn't be banned by government
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Note: Students from Chestatee High School wrote letters to the editor to The Times on a number of subjects as part of a social studies class project for teacher Ernie Davis. More of their letters will appear on Monday's Opinion page.

Letters policy: Send by e-mail to (no attached files, please, which can contain viruses); fax to 770-532-0457; mail to The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503; or click here for a form. Include full name, hometown and phone number for confirmation. They should be limited to one topic on issues of public interest and may be edited for content and length (limit of 500 words). Letters originating from other sources, those involving personal, business or legal disputes, poetry, expressions of faith or memorial tributes may be rejected. You may be limited to one letter per month, two on a single topic. Submitted items may be published in print, electronic or other forms. Letters, columns and cartoons express the opinions of the authors and not of The Times editorial board.

In our country, many people stand by the individuality and the free expression of oneself. Why is it though, many people have to hide in closets? Was it not stated in our own great nations constitution in which this country was founded on that all men are created equal?

Not only is it unconstitutional to deny someone one of their most fundamental rights, it is an absolute disgrace that a nation such as ours has until recently zero tolerance for it. Why though is a large percentage of America persecuted for being homosexual and not straight?

Being gay is not a life style or a choice; biologically speaking, it is just something you are. In America, 19 states currently ban gay marriage, and one of those is Georgia. Contrary to belief, most partnerships are between two women.

In the U.S. there are many instances where a gay couple has to pay more taxes for being married or because the federal government refuses to recognize it. One disadvantage to this is you have to file all your taxes separately and pay more to an accountant for returns. Only five states and the District of Columbia currently give same-sex marriages the same state benefits.

The banning and discrimination of same sex marriage has gone on far too long in this country. I do believe it is about time President Barack Obama passes a law stating that it is unconstitutional to prevent two partners from marrying.

Although the largest opposition comes from people of a religious background, there is still many things we could call it rather than marriage. I propose that in the end we call it something among the lines of a union and that all gay couples should receive the same rights that heterosexual marriages receive.

In the end it is not my place to decide on whether or not it should be allowed. I believe rather if they want to get married then, by God, in the land of the free they should be allowed.

Derek Burress

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