Local view: Marriage is too important to restrictMarriage is important. For us, finding each other and eventually getting married felt like a gift from God. We challenge each other, we balance each other out, and our children and the life we’ve built together make us feel whole. For us, our marriage is the foundation of our lives.
By: Laura and Don Ness, for the News Tribune
Marriage is important. For us, finding each other and eventually getting married felt like a gift from God. We challenge each other, we balance each other out, and our children and the life we’ve built together make us feel whole. For us, our marriage is the foundation of our lives.
As Minnesotans, we soon will decide whether we are going to use the Constitution of the state of Minnesota to permanently limit the freedom of some people to marry the person they love, just because of who they are. No matter how much these people love each other, no matter the level of their commitment to one another, this amendment would send a clear signal that they are not worthy of marriage.
That’s not right.
On top of all the other daily stresses of family life, we couldn’t imagine the feeling of knowing that some people — and possibly our own government — doesn’t consider our relationship valid or worthy of recognition. Our love and marriage is no less real or meaningful than the love and commitment same-sex couples share.
If the government had told us it was illegal for us to be married, we’d be outraged. We’d also be heartbroken and hurt. But most importantly, we’d do everything we could to fight the injustice.
There may be some who scoff at this example, because it is seemingly unrealistic that the government would take action that would deny a couple the freedom to be married. And yet, isn’t that exactly what we will all be deciding this Election Day?
It may not affect us directly, and it may not affect you, but this amendment would directly and negatively affect hundreds of thousands of people across the state of Minnesota. And should it pass, their heartbreak, their pain and their outrage will be no less real than yours or ours would be if it were a constitutional amendment that stripped us of our basic freedom to commit to and marry the person we love.
The greatness of our country is not that we provide rights to only those in power; it’s that we protect the individual and religious freedoms of every American. Our country fulfills a tremendous promise when we provide the opportunity of the American Dream to every person — no matter our religion, our race, our gender, our income, our sexual orientation or our political beliefs.
Every Minnesotan deserves the same opportunities to find love and happiness, and no Minnesotan should be constitutionally deemed less valuable just because of who they are.
Yes, we believe marriage is important; that’s exactly why we believe that no Minnesotan should be denied this important freedom to marry the person they love. We will proudly be voting “no” on the marriage amendment.
Laura and Mayor Don Ness live in Duluth.