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My News-Gazette Letter to the Editor for *Love Takes Over!*

I sent it last week, and it finally got published today! My letter to the editor on LGBT Equality is in today's News Gazette. Check it out here!

"In 44 states, we have created a two-tiered citizenship system – the Americans
who get all of the rights and benefits guaranteed in the Constitution, and the
second class citizens. Though they are consenting adult law-abiding citizens,
they may not choose whom they marry, are denied the rights and responsibilities
of marriage, pay more taxes and penalties, have no right to see their spouses in
the hospital or make end-of-life decisions for them, and are also often fired
from their jobs – not for performance – but because of their employers' personal
feelings.

Gay and lesbian Americans are Americans, but aren't treated as
such by the country they love and sacrifice for. LGBT – lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgendered – youth, in their hopelessness brought on by callous disregard
and harassment by others around them, grow up in a dark place where they feel
unloved. Maybe that's why 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT and why
LGBT youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual
counterparts.

Everyone's personal faith and beliefs must be respected.
That's what makes America great. However, please show compassion for people who
are different, and remember that what also makes America great is her promise to
her citizens to try to make liberty a reality for all. This year, regardless of
your personal beliefs, support extending the full benefits of being American to
all our neighbors, and show love for all.

PHIL REESE

Champaign"
Check out more letters to the editor for love at the Love Takes Over blog!

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