To the editor:

In response to Jim Dyrdahl's July 24 letter, "Equality Act must not become law."

Few of us can consistently live up to Christian principles: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” “Love your enemies.” “Judge not lest you be judged.” Jesus’s unconditional love and his example of forgiveness have been the core of my personal faith. Mr. Dyrdahl implies that Christian values are under attack with the passage of the Equality Act. I believe that the Equality Act aligns perfectly with the teachings of Jesus. Equal rights under the law is equivalent to the equality, love and justice that Jesus offers to all people.

I’m sorry that some call homophobes, “haters and bigots.” Name calling is never respectful. LGBTQ people have been called far worse. Ignorance, misinformation and fear guide Mr. Dyrdahl’s opinions. This prejudicial thinking is responsible for centuries of cruel name calling, harassment, denigration, persecution and even punishment. Biological research has unveiled the complexity of gender identity based on genetic code and body chemistry. Males with high levels of testosterone do not take estrogen because they want to win women’s sporting competitions. It has much more to do with physiology and psychology. They may look like a man on the outside but feel like a woman on the inside.

On the outside Mr. Dyrdahl and I may both be described as good Christian people, but on the inside we understand Christianity in a very different way. Just as Christians have various differences on the inside, so also does each gender have various differences on the inside.

LGBTQ people I know and love have enriched my life, and I want them to enjoy the same equal rights as Mr. Dyrdahl and I do. My friends and I ask, “What would Jesus do?” We believe that Jesus would pass the Equality Act and bake the cake!

Linda Capistrant

Alexandria MN