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A Colorado state legislator is reminding Coloradans they have a right to gather for the Thanksgiving holiday.

We are all doing what we can to keep ourselves and those around us safe during the pandemic. We don't love everything we have to do. We do it because we care about others and we want to keep ourselves safe as well.

As increased restrictions regarding public gatherings are falling into place across Colorado, private gatherings are now being discouraged. Colorado State Representative Mark Baisley from Roxborough Park is reminding Colorado residents of their rights.

Baisley shared a letter on his Facebook page stating, "It is important for Americans to realize that, in spite of their good intentions, neither a governor, a president-elect or I as your state representative have the constitutional authority to restrict the number of family members who gather in your home."

Baisley went on to say, "You have a constitutionally guaranteed right of assembly and association, specifically protected in the First Amendment."

Obviously, Baisley is absolutely correct. Nobody can tell us what we can or can't do in our own homes as it relates to a gathering of people.

Personally, I don't feel like coronavirus restrictions are an attempt to strip us of our rights and control us. I do understand how it can feel that way sometimes. Our leaders are simply trying to make the best decisions they can on the information available from health professionals and scientists.

However, it is possible to take that authority too far. Restricting holiday gatherings may be stepping over that line.

Yes, we want to gather with our families, but we still want to exercise good judgment during the pandemic. We should continue to be vigilant in our efforts to maintain safe health practices.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to holiday gatherings is to not participate if you are sick or have symptoms that could potentially be COVID-19. As difficult as it would be to miss out on a family celebration, it's more important to protect the health of other family members. Some may have underlying health conditions that, when combined with COVID -19, have proven fatal for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Let's all have wonderful family celebrations this Thanksgiving. We should thank God for the rights and freedoms we enjoy - and exercise those rights around the Thursday feast with the loved ones we cherish.

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