Shedding light on gay marriage

Published 10:58 am Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sheila LeDoux, left, and Nick Psyck, lesbians in a committed relationship, talk about their views on the gay marriage amendment and their views on who should be given the right to marry. - Eric Johnson/


Gay couple, pastor differ on November 2012 marriage vote

With 2012 election races beginning to heat up, one local gay couple is planning to show up to the polls next year for a single reason — to vote against the proposed constitutional ban of gay marriage.

“Every straight person — every man and woman couple — have the choice to decide if they want to get married, and we don’t have that choice,” said Sheila LeDoux of Austin.

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LeDoux lives with her girlfriend of a year and said they will both be voting no next year. Although LeDoux and her girlfriend, Nick Psyck, are frustrated that gay marriage is still considered a contentious issue, they said people need to be exposed to it.

Psyck said she knows many people who, before meeting a member of the gay community, oppose gay rights.

“I think it needs to be out there,” Psyck said. “It’s almost 2012 and we’re still having to … fight for the same rights as everybody else.”

“They’re scared of what they don’t know,” added LeDoux.

But Pastor Randy Fossum of St. Peters Evangelical Lutheran Church in Austin disagrees. His opposition to gay marriage stems from biblical and religious beliefs, not from fear, he said.

Fossum said homosexuality goes against God’s natural law and humans’ moral compass.

“Homosexual behavior is contrary to God’s creation,” Fossum said in a letter to the Herald. “Biology makes it clear that the male body was not designed for sex with other men or the female body for sex with women.”

While LeDoux and Psyck think legalizing gay marriage would strengthen the institution of marriage, Fossum said it’s an attack on it.

Because natural law governs right and wrong, Christians do themselves a disservice when they choose to ignore it, Fossum said.

“Homosexual behavior is contrary to natural law just as is stealing, murder and the like,” he said in the letter. “The government has a responsibility to enforce moral law.”

“It’s an attack (on marriage) simply because God has, in the institution of marriage, determined what is best … a man and a woman bringing unique qualities into a relationship. That is an impossibility in a homosexual relationship.”

LeDoux and Psyck don’t think their relationship differs from that of a heterosexual couple. They are raising LeDoux’s children together and said if anything, the kids have been positively affected.

“It is not tearing apart what we have as a family,” LeDoux said. “(Both my kids) love Nick, and I know they love her. We’re teaching our children to be more accepting of people with different backgrounds.”

Republican Rep. Rich Murray, of Albert Lea, said banning gay marriage wouldn’t necessarily strengthen marriage. He is one of four Republicans who voted against the amendment during the last legislative session. He said the gay marriage argument is not one Minnesota needed to have during the budget crisis.

“The only thing that can make marriage stronger is people willing to work on their marriage,” Murray said. “Passing a law isn’t going to do a thing for it.”

Although LeDoux and Psyck said they aren’t ready for marriage yet, they hope to someday tie the knot. Psyck said they will get married in Minnesota regardless of the law.

“I don’t need a piece of paper telling me who I’m going to be with,” Psyck said. “What I do in my house and who I do it with is kind of a moot point.”

In the meantime, the couple is gearing up to vote against the proposed constitutional amendment next November. Regardless of the outcome, they said they will stay hopeful that someday gay couples can legally marry in Minnesota.

“There are a lot more gay couples in the state than people realize, and we’re going to all band together,” LeDoux said.