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Minnesota Newspapers Agree: Vote NO On Discriminatory Marriage Ban

October 28, 2012

From the Red Wing Republican Eagle comes this perfectly worded VOTE NO endorsement.

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.

The Star Tribune had one of those tone-perfect endorsements urging a VOTE NO.

We’d urge voters to think about the gay or lesbian friend and coworker in the next cubicle, the nice same-sex couple down the street, or the beloved gay family member. They have the same hopes and dreams as heterosexuals, and for many that includes the desire to marry and form a family with the person they love.

In our hearts and souls, we Minnesotans are basically fair people who believe in human rights. That fundamental sense of humanity should lead to a “no” vote on the marriage amendment

Also, constitutions don’t change, generally speaking, so Founders are careful about what to include in them.

Minnesota voters on Nov. 6 can be just as careful with the state’s constitution. They can vote “no” on a pair of ballot questions that aren’t as constitutional as they are legislative, as they are matters more appropriate for our lawmakers’ careful deliberations and decisions.

Changes to the constitution should be rare and under special circumstances. They’ve been made that way since Minnesota’s constitution was adopted in 1857.

Neither the marriage amendment nor the voter ID amendment rise to the level of constitutional consideration.

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