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While hyperpartisanship plagues many discussions between the two parties, there are still issues that a vast majority of Americans and Michiganders agree on. One such issue is gay marriage.

While this issue has only found mainstream support recently, there is now an overwhelming amount of people who believe in marriage equality. Gay marriage is important as a personal freedom, but marriage also affords rights such as health insurance coverage, joint tax filings, and visiting a sick spouse in the hospital.

However, one person who refuses to support gay marriage is Representative Tim Walberg. To this day, Walberg’s campaign website says the definition of marriage is between one man and one woman.  As a citizen of the Seventh Congressional District and a gay man, Walberg refuses to represent me and many others in Congress. He denies my basic freedom and fails to listen to a vast majority of voters in his district.

While I understand individuals may personally disagree with gay marriage from a religious standpoint, Walberg is not only an individual; he is our representative. When his personal religious opinions result in refusing to support marriage equality in Congress, he is using his own religious beliefs to make decisions for others.

Freedom of religion is important; that is not being challenged. But what about the freedom to not be forced into the religious beliefs of others? Freedom of religion includes the right to not be required to follow a particular religion. So, do I have this freedom of religion? Clearly not in Walberg’s opinion. Rather than just personally disagreeing with my choice to someday marry a man, Walberg wants to legislate my personal decisions. In fact, Walberg claimed society itself was at risk after the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. That was now more than seven years ago. While society may be at risk today, it is not because of gay marriage. Society is at risk because of politicians like Walberg who choose to divide us instead of uniting us. Marriage equality is established law by the Supreme Court, but when politicians like Walberg challenge basic rights, we must vote accordingly.

I cannot vote for Walberg in good conscience, and neither should anyone who supports somebody who loves the same sex.  No one is asking Tim Walberg to marry a man. That is his choice. All I ask for is the ability to make mine.
Landon Myers

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Earlier this year, I worked as a Decennial Census Enumerator. Over 8 weeks I drove 3,500 miles through Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson and Washtenaw Counties. It was a privilege to get to see the immense diversity in the counties. Lack of mobile internet service, however, made the work difficult. Gretchen Driskell has been working diligently toward universal internet access. At a town hall meeting this past week, she provided information about her internet access plans, and then answered the questions posed by her audience. This was a pleasant contrast to Representative Walberg's town-halls, where questions must be submitted in advance.

At one of Mr. Walberg's town-halls a few years ago, a question was submitted that addressed the limited availability of broadband internet to his rural constituents. His reply: "you make sacrifices for the country lifestyle and high-speed internet is one of them."  Mr. Walberg is on the 5-G committee, however he has voted against universal internet access. Given the ongoing sad state of rural internet access in his district, Mr. Walberg still appears to prefer his constituents uninformed and unconnected.

Vote Gretchen Driskell 2020!

Ruth Knoll




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