I've always been a "live and let live" kind of person, and for the most part that mindset has served me well ... not always, but more often than not. As long as someone doesn't hurt or permanently damage others with their "lifestyle," I could care less how they spend their free time.

For example, a lot of acquaintances, casual friends and ardent critics have asked me how I view gay marriage. Obviously, it's a hot-button topic these days and will probably remain that way for a decade or so ... perhaps forever. And I understand that. Gay relationships and the marriage of same-sex people have a tendency to rub some folks the wrong way. Put more bluntly, it can rub them raw.

But, to be totally honest, I could care less who someone is in love with or wants to spend the rest of their life with. To me that's a deep, moral issue involving individual personalities and beliefs, and it should be left up to them. Should gay couples have the legal right to exchange wedding vows? Sure, why not? Who are they harming by declaring their enduring love for one another? Shouldn't such devotion and loyalty be considered a good thing?

We all know straight, heterosexual people who have gotten married, but instead of the union turning out to be a good thing, all hell broke loose. More often than we care to admit, innocent lives have been lost in the process. Love and understanding are the keys to an enduring relationship, not gender.

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