Editorial: Voters, reject 'marriage amendment'Most Minnesotans define marriage as between one man and one woman. Most churches do, too. State law, in fact, defines marriage this way. Traditional marriage is the societal norm.
Most Minnesotans define marriage as between one man and one woman. Most churches do, too. State law, in fact, defines marriage this way. Traditional marriage is the societal norm.
But the Nov. 6 vote on the proposed “marriage amendment” isn’t about society, religion or personal conviction. The vote is about amending the Minnesota Constitution to deny rights to citizens who aren’t heterosexual.
The so-called marriage amendment could more appropriately be labeled the “constitutional divorce” amendment: Citizens are being urged and even incited to go violate their state Bill of Rights.
The state Bill of Rights Article 1, Section 2 begins:
No member of this state shall be disfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.
Therefore a “yes” vote on Election Day will be a rejection of equal rights. And passage would be a tragic break in this state’s tradition of amending its Constitution to extend or confirm rights. Instead, we would limit rights or take them away.
For constitutional reasons alone, Minnesotans should soundly reject the proposed amendment.
There are other reasons as well. Economics is one.
Gays and lesbians work just as hard as heterosexuals do; they have just as many talents and gifts. Why pass a constitutional amendment that could drive talented individuals to live and work elsewhere? Making the attracting and hiring of diverse individuals difficult is not good for jobs and could hinder economic opportunities for all Minnesotans.
There also may be the potential that, if the amendment passes, zealots could interpret it to mean employers — private and government — that provide other family benefits to domestic partners do so in violation of the Constitution. Large companies such as Xcel Energy and Medtronic provide extend benefits to domestic partners because they’ve learned it's good business. Minnesota businesses already have enough regulations and distractions with which to contend.
Citizens in some other states have condoned misusing their constitutions to allow a special interest group to erode citizens’ rights. Do Minnesotans want to pervert their primary governing document — the Minnesota Constitution — to impose one group’s religious, personal or societal beliefs on the citizenry? We hope not.