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“But I understand that I am missing out on things I would have had if I had two parents, even that other parent was another mom,” said Miss Arnautaki.

LaSaundra Morgan, a 36-year-old single mother of five, said she came from North Carolina to protest same-sex marriage.

“We love them, we just don’t agree with their perspective,” said Ms. Morgan about the pro gay marriage activists around her.

Ms. Morgan said she felt it was important for her children to have a correct understanding of marriage.

Although there were reports of shouting matches and direct one-on-one confrontations in the competing demonstrations, Ms. Morgan said most people she had met on both sides of the issue had been civil with one another.