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In the last few years, our great country has experienced some gut-wrenching changes. The modern day of infamy, 9/1 1, forever changed our society. During this period, unfortunately, we also have felt a great division in our country.

One issue -- gay rights and the sanctity of marriage -- is challenging our beliefs and dividing our nation. Many Americans believe that marriage should be reserved for a heterosexual union and many Americans believe that gay rights need to be protected. Here lies the opportunity for compromise.

President Bush supports a national bill preserving the sanctity of marriage. This bill should also include the establishment of a new classification, civil union, which affords the same rights, privileges and responsibilities of a traditional marriage. This, in effect, would protect the rights of the heterosexual majority and the rights of the homosexual minority.

The result would essentially satisfy those of us who are opposed to changing the definition of marriage and those who demand the protection of gays' civil rights. This may not be entirely what both sides wanted, but the main issue would be resolved because of this compromise. This bill could be an important first step for a country willing to work together again "for a more perfect union."

Norman J. Zindle

Grand Island

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