On Election Day 2012, voters are charged with a very important task.
Not only will they be casting their vote for local, state and national races for government office, but also in favor or opposition of a constitutional amendment regarding marriage in the state of Minnesota.
If passed, the state's Constitution would be amended to state that marriage is only between one man and one woman, reflecting current state law.
Voting "yes" on the ballot measure means you do support the changing of the Constitution. Voting "no" means you do not support the change.
Patch asked readers to share why they are voting for or against the measure. The following are submitted statements from Richfield and Twin Cities area residents who are voting "no":
Judy Goebel of Richfield:
First of all, the marriage in question is the marriage that is recognized by law. The kind that governs taxes, inheritance, taking financial responsibility for your spouse and children. Religious marriage is not affected. My church has been marrying same-gender couples for years. Other churches don’t. That won’t be affected. Nobody will force clergy to perform ceremonies or churches to host same sex celebrations. The Catholic church still has issues with divorced people remarrying, and that has been legal for a very long time. Proponents of the amendment always seem to bring up the subject of children. The first thing I have noticed is that the traditional, Christian marriage vows do not bring up the subject of children. Look it up. There is a variation of the vows that asks if you will accept children into your lives if God gives them to you. Contrary to what the Marriage Prohibition supporters assert, same-gender couples have families. Not only that, but their children are not an accident. They are wanted children. Their parents value them. Families with same-gender parents are in your community. The children go to the schools. The families go to churches that are not hostile to them. Voting yes is not going to change that. What it will do is create legal barriers, increase taxes for those families and remove legal responsibility for the care of the children and spouse. I am voting no because my religion does not teach me to behave hurtfully and hatefully toward my neighbors and their children. Voting no will not change the current law that does not allow same sex marriage. All it does is make it possible that at some future time our future selves may decide to expand the definition of marriage to include my neighbors.
Julie Deitering of Minnetonka:
I think everyone should have the same rights and benefits no matter who you marry, and I am Catholic.
Annie Shandorf of Minneapolis:
I will be voting no on the marriage amendment. I am adamantly against language in the Minnesota Constitution that prohibits, or suggests prohibition of personal freedoms. Factually, Gay marriage is not legal in Minnesota - and regardless of a vote for or against the amendment Nov. 6th, this will not change. In my opinion, this amendment is completely unnecessary. I feel the sole purpose of voting yes it is to make certain individuals feel excluded. Specifically, I would like to challenge those who favor marriage only being recognized between a man and a woman for the sake of raising children. I am personally and completely insulted by this thought process. I was raised (for all intents and purposes) in a single parent home. My maternal Grandparents took me in as a baby, and my Grandfather died when I was 4. My formative years were all but completely influenced by one parent, and one gender. I submit to you I am a better person because of my upbringing, not due to the gender of my parent but the person my Grandmother was and the values she instilled in me. Now, I am 32 and I've been in a committed relationship for the better part of a decade. We're unmarried, currently with separate residences, and childless - by choice. We're often judged because we've not yet married and/or because we are not currently planning on having children. In our society, if I have the right to not marry and not have children, how dare I tell someone else they cannot marry and shouldn’t have children? The only arguments that have been brought forth to me advocating a Yes vote are in the form of bible quotes. Please, indulge me. Christ said "Let the one among you without sin cast the first stone" and "render on to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and God, what is God's", If someone else can pick and choose such text to prove their point, so can I.
Jake Rappe of Richfield:
In my youth, I know that without a doubt and without hesitation I would have voted "yes" on the proposed marriage amendment. Am I glad that I'm not 18 anymore. There are a lot of things about homosexuality that I don't understand, but I do understand love, rights, and freedom. I stood guard for five years over our rights and freedoms in service to the Army. I didn't not, in that span of that time, walk the souls of my feet raw, drip gallons of sweat, shrink an inch, nor spill my own blood in defense of our rights and freedoms to come home and endorse a measure to take away rights and freedoms from my countrymen and an entire people.
I like to think that I am a fairly intelligent man. I do not think that one can intelligently argue nor convince me that this proposed amendment is not religiously motivated. No other motivation makes sense. I am a Christian man, and it is BECAUSE I am Christian is also why I CANNOT vote "yes" on November 6th.
If more people would read and pay attention to their Bible instead of thump it, they, too, could not bring themselves to vote "yes".
Sure, Leviticus 20:13 teaches us "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." But I have also been taught in 8th chapter of John's Gospel not to judge my neighbor, John 8:7, 10-11 "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He who is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her... When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." I know that I am a poor sinner who can do nothing to save myself, but it is by the grace of God through His son Jesus that we are all saved.
Paul teaches us in his first letter to the church of Corinth, 1Cor 6:9-11 "Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be decieved: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor theives nor the greedy nor the drunkards nor the slanderers nor the swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." It is true, the wages of sin is death, but those wages were collected for me by the one who bled on the cross for us all. It is that same blood that washes us all clean of our sins, be they bearing false witness against our neighbor, stealing, or homosexuality. A
s I said earlier, I do not understand homosexuality, but I do know love. And who am I to judge which love is more valid than another, for it is by the same measure that I judge that will be used to judge me, as is for us all. There is but one who is perfect and learned enough to pass judgement on any of us, and we must all one day stand before Him at His throne and be judged by Him alone. I can only pray that when my day comes, the measure of judgement used on me deems me worthy to recieve my crown.
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Other releated articles:
- Minnesota Marriage Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'Yes'
- Minnesota Voter ID Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'No'
- Minnesota Voter ID Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'Yes'