Local view: Vote to stop threats to marriage in MinnesotaOne of the objections to the proposed marriage amendment is: “We don’t need a marriage amendment because same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota.” This shortsighted argument ignores that marriage has been under assault in the state Legislature and in our courts for several years.
By: Jason Adkins, Duluth News Tribune
One of the objections to the proposed marriage amendment is: “We don’t need a marriage amendment because same-sex marriage is already illegal in Minnesota.” This shortsighted argument ignores that marriage has been under assault in the state Legislature and in our courts for several years.
In the 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions, five bills were presented to redefine marriage and to turn it into a system of genderless love licenses. A prominent legislative leader, Sen. John Marty, publicly promised to redefine marriage at the earliest opportunity. Sen. Marty is sponsoring legislation right now to do just that. An even more radical piece of legislation proposed in 2011 sought to eliminate marriage altogether in favor of a system of civil unions.
Equally, if not more, troubling is the current lawsuit by three same-sex couples in Hennepin County District Court demanding the county registrar issue them marriage licenses. The trial court dismissed the case, but the couples appealed to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and the three judges on that court overruled the trial court and sent the case back to Hennepin County court for further review, effectively putting marriage on trial in Minnesota.
This is exactly the type of lawsuit that led to the imposition of same-sex marriage across the state border in Iowa, on the coasts in California and Massachusetts, and in other states as well. And now, the couples are asking the government to not defend our state’s laws because man-woman marriage is supposedly indefensible.
The answer to these threats to marriage is the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment. The amendment puts our traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman into our state constitution, where it would be safe from meddling by activist judges and politicians.
The text of the amendment is short and straightforward: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”
At stake are two competing definitions of marriage. One would define marriage as the union of any two people, regardless of gender; its focus is entirely and squarely on the desires of the two adults to the exclusion of anyone else. And the other, contained in the proposed constitutional amendment and reflective of the collective understanding of virtually every civilization throughout recorded history, would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This focus is broader and includes not only the well-being of adults but the well-being of children and society.
These two competing definitions cannot exist alongside each other. Only one definition of marriage will exist in the law. It would become the sole definition for the only legally sanctioned marriage anyone could enter.
Don’t be fooled by people who question whether a definition of marriage should be written into the Minnesota Constitution. The real question is which definition will prevail and whether it will be written by the people or by the courts.
Vote “yes” for marriage on Nov. 6.
Jason Adkins of St. Paul is vice chairman of Minnesota for Marriage (minnesotaformarriage.com), the official campaign supporting the Minnesota Marriage Protection Amendment.