Minnesota Marriage Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'Yes'

Voters will asked to cast their vote for or against the measure Nov. 6.

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 "yes":

Reed Bornholdt of Richfield:

I believe marriage should remain defined as (and reserved for) the union between one man and one woman. For centuries, organized societies have recognized the importance of heterosexual marriage to society as a whole. In particular, societies have encouraged what’s best for the children that result from the union of one man and one woman. What’s best for the child is a mother and a father who are the parents of that child, raising that child in a stable, married relationship. Marriage is a special arrangement that has already been tarnished by divorce. As seen in other countries that have adopted same-gender marriage, we likely would see a devaluing of “marriage,” a decline in the number of marriages (“If everyone can marry, why should anyone marry?”), more children born out of wedlock and higher divorce rates.

Without a marriage amendment in our constitution, activist judges can substitute their values for those of the people of Minnesota. This is exactly what happened in Iowa, Massachusetts and California. Similarly, legislators can redefine marriage without the permission of the people, as several legislators in Minnesota have pledged to do. The marriage amendment ensures that if activists want to redefine marriage in the future, they must receive the approval of voters to do so.

I will vote in favor of the amendment.

Bonnie Gasper of Eden Prairie:

Our family visited the Vote NO booth at the MN State Fair in August and spoke with a self identified attorney volunteering for the cause. I asked him what the logical outcome of what constitutes 'marriage' will be if they are successful in redefining the meaning of marriage. He said that concern was a "separate issue."

So, I asked him if marriage is indeed a 'right', then how can he deny that 'right' to others who desire polygamous, polyamorous, even incestuous relationships as deeply as people of the same sex? Again, he said it was a "separate issue."
It isn't a separate issue, because it reveals the uncomfortable truth that if marriage is regarded as merely a 'right' and not an historical institution defined by God, understood and recognized as the union of one man and one woman, then anything can qualify. Anything.

Since he was an attorney, I also asked since many companies now provide domestic partner benefits, what other marriage 'benefits' were unavailable to committed same-sex couples that someone like him couldn't remedy with legal paperwork? He didn't name any.

Society does not prevent same sex or opposite sex couples from cohabitating or forming long term commitments to each other. They can and they will continue having the freedom to do so. However, society (as well as the courts) are not free to call those unions marriages when they are not.
And marriage is not a civil right. People with same sex attraction have the same enumerated rights as every other American and they are protected by our Constitution.

I'm happy to report our conversation with this man was spirited yet very respectful. We thanked him for not calling us haters, bigots or homophobes and he seemed sincerely sor ry that so many on his side prefer to shout down or silence the opposition rather than discuss the issue. (Evidently, those who keep stealing the Vote YES to Marriage signs in Eden Prairie, don't share his tolerance or respectfulnes!)

Marriage is a unique institution that stands alone as a union of one man and one woman, and our government has a compelling interest to protect it.

Want to weigh-in? Leave a comment below.


Other releated articles:

  • Minnesota Marriage Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'No'
  • Minnesota Voter ID Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'No'
  • Minnesota Voter ID Amendment: Why I'm Voting 'Yes'

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Andrew Timothy Seffrood November 01, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Reed Bornholdt, it is illogical to blame gay marriage for straight divorce or out-of-wedlock birth. My neighbor has a "VOTE YES" sign in his yard, and he has already been married three times despite no constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. It sounds to me like you just don't like homosexuals. Nice knowing ya!
Susan A November 01, 2012 at 05:44 PM
What I don't understand is why every single person that I have talked to who is voting yes on this measure has to bring up "God" or religion in some form as their basis for voting yes. The only problem with this, is that "God" and religion do not have to be a part of marriage. It may be a part of your marriage, but there are plenty of people who get married by a judge or justice of the peace and they are every bit as married as you are. The other thing that I hear all the times is that marriage is for the creation of children. Well, again, not all people who get married can have, or even want to have children. I know quite a few married couples who don't have children and have no plans to have children, and once again, they are every bit as married as the couple who has children. So please, someone, anyone give me one reason to vote yes, that doesn't involve religion or having kids.
Susan A November 01, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I didn't look up the statistics for all of the countries that allow same sex marriage, but I did do some digging and found that the statics for marriage and divorce rates in Canada have remained about the same since allowing same sex marriage back in 2001. No big increase in divorce, and no big decrease in marriage. The trend of having children out of wedlock all over the world has been going up since the 1980's, and allowing same sex marriage didn't cause it to sky rocket. European countries in general have always been much more accepting of cohabitation without getting married than the US, and those rates haven't increased any either since allowing same-sex marriage. European countries that do not allow same-sex marriage have the same cohabitation percentages as those that allow it. I'll even give you sources: Canadian stats on marriage and divorce: http://www5.statcan.gc.ca/subject-sujet/theme-theme.action?pid=40000&lang=eng&more=0 Out of wedlock births: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-05-13-unmarriedbirths_N.htm Cohabitation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohabitation Cohabitation stats from 2006 (which is before most of those countries allowed same sex marriage) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/7027518.stm
Susan A November 01, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Let me give you a few examples of the benefits of marriage that you can not get "with legal paperwork." 1. joint filing of bankruptcy permitted 2. next-of-kin status for emergency medical decisions or filing wrongful death claims 3. Tax-free transfer of property between spouses (including on death) and exemption from "due-on-sale" clauses 4. sponsor husband/wife for immigration benefits 5. domestic violence intervention 6. Right to continue living on land purchased from spouse by National Park Service when easement granted to spouse 7. Funeral and bereavement leave (companies don't have to allow this if you are not married.) 8. Spousal privilege in court cases (the marital confidences privilege and the spousal testimonial privilege) None of the above can be granted through paperwork. And that's not all of them. Sorry for 3 different posts, but there is a restriction on the number of characters in a comment.
Annie S. November 01, 2012 at 07:02 PM
The only even close to secular reason for voting "Yes" -is- for the sake of raising kids. However, that argument is not only insuling to same sex couples, but anyone who wasn't raised in a "traditional" two parent hetero household. Some people raise their children as widows, some kids lost both parents and are being raised by their aunt, Grandfather, or cousin - who might be the only "parent". Some kids are raised in foster care, or orphanages. How dare these people make other's feel inferior because by suggesting their upbringing wasn't ideal? Who do these people think they are? Personally, I feel they are -at best- completely misinformed, and at worst (especially when they think it out LOUD) a total jerk.
Stevel November 01, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Listening to the debate on the Minnesota Marriage Amendment, I am reminded of the thousands of kids raised in same-sex households whose parents are not married because it is against the law. Is the sense of self-esteem of kids in these households enhanced by the knowledge that their peers from heterosexual households are typically married while their own parents are forbidden from getting married? I think not.
Christine Worrall November 02, 2012 at 05:06 PM
For anyone voting yes "for the kids," please refer to the Minnesota chapter of the American Academy of Pediatric's position on the amendment. Pretty solid argument about how the amendment would be bad for the kids. http://www.mnaap.org/minnesota-marriage-amendment.htm
B_Schiff November 02, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Nobody's explained, adequately to me, why marriage, as a religious institution, is recognized by the state and given preferential treatment in the first place. If the state must recognize it on a religious premise, what ELSE must it sanction? What's next.... will I only have visitation rights in a hospital if my son is baptized? What's really the difference? ... Or, if nothing else religious needs to be sanctioned by the state, then why ONLY marriage, but nothing else? This is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. Same sex marriages are not legal, already. If same sex marriage is someday legalized, will parents and pastors no longer be able to religiously instruct their children as they wish?? Religious instruction is already different from secular. Right now, kids go to school and are told their existence is an unplanned act of nature. At home, they may be told they were created by a God out of love. The world system says one thing, parents and pastors another. It happens and people simply have to decide what to believe on their own. What a beautiful distraction while our nation is being destroyed. We're being taken completely over by big corporate-sponsored tyrannical one-world government, and THIS is what we're talking about?? Divided and conquered; that's us!?
B_Schiff November 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
The debate is really about whether religion should be imposed through the state. What those who think the state should adopt a religious interpretation of marriage are missing is that some day, future legislation, if it can be religious, may or may not be at ODDS with their beliefs - and THEN what? Just because the state supports your God today doesn't mean it will not change gods tomorrow. Why should I give the state that power? I don't take my religious instruction from St Paul or Washington DC, anyway, NOR do I take my voting instruction from a pulpit. Render to Ceasar that which is Ceasar's, and unto God that which is God's; there's good reason for that. Leave it to local government to run the water treatment facilities and emergency services to keep us healthy and safe, and to run the schools to teach math and science and reading and history ... Leave it to the church to instruct me as to whether I'm going to heaven or hell, and whether my marriage is a marriage. Governor Dayton's a nice guy but he's not my pastor and shouldn't be, and (sorry, but...) I don't think I'd want my pastor to oversee state affairs, either. They do great jobs at what they do. Let's let them perform in their roles.
Denise Siegel November 04, 2012 at 01:29 PM
Same sex marriage promotes the endangerment of the human race. Infertile couples with a .00001% of conceiving a child have a greater chance of conceiving a child than same sex married couples. Reproductive miracles can happen with opposite sex couples. Same sex couples always need help from the opposite sex. If we allow ssm couples to marry, what does marriage between a man and a woman mean. Can't healthy marriages be something we aspire to anymore? Have we given up on that?
Denise Siegel November 04, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Here is what is happening in Canada. When marriage was redefined in Canada, school officials embarked almost immediately on a program that they themselves refer to as the “unlearning process”. Materials relating to same sex marriage begin to permeate all subjects and all grade levels. To defend this, Board officials claim that learning is facilitated when students observe elements of their own diversity in the curriculum. They actually believe that simple arithmetic cannot be learned without reference to same sex marriage. In my jurisdiction, the real goal is not to use “same sex marriage” as an aid in teaching the three R’s to young children. Instead, the objective becomes using the three R’s as an aid to teach acceptance of same sex marriage to young children who are lacking in both spiritual maturity and critical thinking skills. Is this the type of education that Minnesotan’s want for their children?Those people – a strong majority of Minnesotans – who believe marriage is between one man and one woman, would be the legal equivalent of bigots for acting on their heartfelt beliefs. Refusal to accommodate and recognize same-sex “marriages” would be the equivalent of racial discrimination. Not only will the law penalize traditional marriage supporters, but the power of government will work in concert to promote this belief throughout the culture.
Denise Siegel November 04, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Threats that SSM has for society Below is a full list of sources to specific examples of consequences that have occurred once marriage has been redefined as a genderless institution. Religious groups who have refused to make their facilities available for same-sex couples have lost their state tax exemption. June 8, 2012, Zenit.org, Christians Pay Consequences for Opposing Same-Sex Marriage January 13, 2012, LifeSiteNews.com: Judge Rules Christian Facility Cannot Ban Same-Sex Civil Union Ceremony on its Own Premises September 18, 2007, The New York Times: Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue September 18, 2005, LifeSiteNews.com, Knights of Columbus Challenged by Canadian Lesbians for Refusing to Rent Hall for ‘Wedding’ Reception Religious groups like Catholic Charities in Boston and Washington DC have had to choose between fulfilling their social mission based on their religious beliefs, or acquiescing to this new definition of marriage. They have, for example, been forced to close their charitable adoption agencies. September 10, 2012, CBS Boston, Gay Couple Sues Worcester Diocese For Refusing To Sell Mansion To Them September 14, 2011, CitizenLink.com, IL Christian Foster Care Group Loses State Contract June 3, 2011, Chicago Tribune: Catholic Charities in Joliet, Peoria Opt Out of Adoptions
Sharon November 04, 2012 at 04:14 PM
I hope that everyone who is willing to connect religion with U.S. law, is ready for the next amendment to allow Shariah law......when we cross that line where religion makes the laws....that is what we are in store for. Even the Dali Llama said that if something were proven to be right that opposed Buddhist teachings, that "Buddhism must change".....I am voting no to keep state laws separate from religious laws.
Donald Lee November 05, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I'll give you a good reason. The marriage amendment is about the stability of law, to defend against the likely result if the courts are left room to "overturn" the entirety of marriage law, as was done in variations in Iowa, California, and Massachusetts. If marriage laws are to be changed, the people should have a chance to weigh in though the normal political process. Doing it by judicial fiat is a disruptive and irresponsible way to do it.
Susan A November 05, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Denise, none of those things are "threats on society" they are simply the elimination of bigotry. Once again, all of those comments are religious based. When you run a business, or a charity, you can't discriminate against people. You can't do it based on skin color, nationality, religious beliefs, age, gender, etc... If you do and you're a charity, you are going to lose your tax exempt status. All of the things you mentioned, are cases of discrimination, plain and simple. Most of them, would happen even without allowing same sex marriage, because in a lot of states now, sexual orientation is protected.
John Silvernale November 05, 2012 at 05:56 PM
I would also like to add in response to Denise's post: Catholic Charities in Massachusetts were NOT forced to close their adoption agenices as implied by anti-equality arguments. The courts simply said if they wanted to continue to discriminate they would lose their tax advantages. The charity VOLUNTARILY closed their doors. They were NEVER forced to close. The simple fact is this: if you offer services outside your church (eg: hospital, adoption, etc), you cannot discriminate. The church gets the tax exemption, but not the rest of the groups. Look at the businesses that lose lawsuits when they discriminate. Replace "gay coupe" with "african-american couple". Discrimination is discrimination. And it has NO PLACE in our nation.
Donald Lee November 05, 2012 at 05:59 PM
It is not pretty to see so many otherwise reasonable people toss around the word "bigot" when referring to those who simply want to support and defend tradiional marriage and the values that it represents. We don't make up our morals. Most of us get them from our faith. Mainstream religions all over the world have called homosexuality "sin" to various degrees. GLBT activists want to *force* people to stop disapproving of what they do. This is bullying, pure and simple. Humility is essential in any civil discussion. Those who sling words like "bigot" are not engaging in civil debate, but a bigotry of their own, where those who disagree are more than wrong, but worthy only of insult and derision.
Annie S. November 05, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Donald - your approval is not needed on things that do not directly involve you. Believing so is is arrogant, and pride is also a sin.
Denise Siegel November 06, 2012 at 01:42 AM
They are threats to society. Human beings can become an endangered species just like other animals. Traditional marriage protects this legally as best as possible. Same sex marriage have been on a tirade to weaken and alter history and religion through government intervention. Catholic Charities, Chik-Fil-A, and Catholic Hospitals have been targets to religious discrimination. Government cannot exchange one civil right for another.
Denise Siegel November 06, 2012 at 01:48 AM
John, Catholic Charities were not encouraged to stay opened either. Haven't you heard of subtle discrimination? Read between the lines. Also, substitute the "bigot to same sex marriage" with threat to same sex marriage" and see what you get.
Denise Siegel November 06, 2012 at 02:00 AM
They are threats to society. The human race can become extinct. Maybe not in our lifetime. You can't go around calling everyone a bigot just because you don't agree with someone or don't understand their reason. "Bigot" is a strong word and a cop out for same-sex marriage proponents to truly understand the other position. They think by using the word "bigot" will ostricize the religious right and make smaller numbers in people over time. Overusing the word bigot is categorizing us like racists such as the KKK. Do you really want to do that to people you know? Are you going to call people in your past a bigot? Most people in favor of SSM were once opposed to it? Are they "ex-bigots"? Also why is it considered paranoia for traditional marriage proponents to believe that plural marriage or pedophile marriage is next? 20 years ago or so, same-sex marriage was considered paranoia? Also please explain how same-sex marriage "bigotry" is the equivalent to biracial marriage bigotry. Where does your thought process come from? Huh? BTW: I voted absentee already and I voted YES proudly!


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