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'