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Letters to the editor: Praise, criticism surrounds gay marriage support

An open letter to Rep. Andrea Kieffer

It was nice to see you had the courage to not follow "party" lines on this debate and to allow all people the freedom to legally marry in a civil ceremony. As a financially conservative left leaning moderate with no party affiliation and being a 57-year-old white male with a wife and three children, I can say with a lot of pride, that Minnesota is an inclusive state with an inclusive society.

I know you are probably taking a lot of heat from other constituents in the Woodbury area, but I myself applaud you for taking a stance for humanity.

Tom Lance - Woodbury

And you are again ... ?

I'm sorry, I guess I was wrong. I thought Andrea Kieffer was a Republican.

Steve Lagoon - Cottage Grove

Kudos to Kent on unionization vote

As a child care provider I want to thank Sen. Susan Kent for her vote to give us providers a chance to vote to form a union. The freedom to vote to join a union is something all Minnesotans deserve.

A unified voice and a seat at the table will allow us to have a direct impact on our profession. We will be able to negotiate with the state for increased CCAP subsidy rates. We would improve the quality of our profession by having access to more training opportunities. We would make child care cheaper for Minnesota families, as in-home based providers are thousands of dollars cheaper than day care centers. New York saw a 13 percent increase in the number of providers taking CCAP children after the union went into effect. More quality in-home based providers will keep costs down for parents and give them more options.

A union will bring great benefits to our profession. Minnesota isn't the first state to do this, either. Oregon, Illinois, Maryland and New York are examples of a few states that have successful child care provider unions that have raised the CCAP rate, increased the access to quality trainings and grew the workforce.

Again, thank you Sen. Kent for voting to give us the freedom to vote to have a chance to improve our profession."

Sharon O'Boyle - St. Paul Park

Local lawmakers deserve credit for marriage votes

Kudos to both of Woodbury's state representatives for voting yes for marriage equality. Andrea Kieffer deserves much credit for having the courage to place principles over partisanship. Recognition should also be given to Joann Ward for doing the right thing.

Anthony Tedesco - Woodbury

What's the harm in background checks?

It's always gratifying to see that someone reads what you write to the newspaper. And when a rebutter resorts to personal attacks, I assume it's because they didn't have much of substance to say. But I'll address one of Mr. Stephenson's assertions - that I was "very misleading" (among other things) because "support for any new gun legislation is now below 50 percent."

From a Quinniplac University poll taken April 25-29: "Would you support or oppose a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online?" Support = 83 percent; Oppose = 13 percent

A CBS News/New York Times poll released May 1 stated: "88 percent support background checks for all gun buyers."

Both these polls were taken after the one Mr. Stephenson referenced. And support in the 80 percent range seems pretty "overwhelming" to me.

Several U.S. senators who voted against tightening checks on gun purchases are taking a beating at home. One Arizona senator may reverse his position, saying his poll numbers put him "below pond scum."

My son and son-in-law hunt. My dad hunted. Gun control is not about hating responsible gun owners - or grabbing away their guns. It's puzzling what Mr. Stephenson meant by "when the rest of us law-abiding citizens comply and are rendered defenseless." Comply with what, a background check? Gun control is not about disrespect for the Constitution. It's just common sense.

Carol Turnbull - Woodbury