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. Same sex marriage will remain illegal in Minnesota either way.
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 Minnetonka and Twin Cities area residents who are voting "no":
Liz Meyer of Minnetonka:
I don't believe defining marriage as between a man and a woman, as the upcoming proposed marriage amendment would do, has any place in our state's constitution.
This issue is about basic human rights. I understand and respect others' opinions that are different than mine. But those beliefs are based largely on religion, and we have a separation of church and state in this country. It's ok that some people still oppose gay marriage. I can respect the oposing belief as different than mine, and agree to disagree. But enacting that belief into LAW denies same-sex couples over 500 legal and financial state rights.
A "yes" vote will not legalize gay marriage, nor does it even mean a person necessarily supports gay marriage. All it does is unfairly take away rights from people who love each other in the same way any straight couple does. The world is changing - let's just agree to disagree at this point and not go changing our state's constitution. What gives me great peace of mind on this issue is that I have no doubt that when my son (who is 3) is my age, the way he will feel about gay marriage opposition is the same way I feel about Civil Rights. I can't believe that kind of discrimination and ignorance actually occurred just a generation before mine.
Jeff Mandell of Minnetonka:
Incredibly hypocritical for people who claim that the government is too big to now try to enforce an actual law that limits one's freedom to marry. The Vote Yes people claim that the institution of marriage is sacred and that gay people will ruin it.
How many Republicans/Conservatives get divorced each year? Didn't Newt Gingrich leave one of his wives when she was going through cancer treatment? Is that sacred?
It's a shame that the partners of gay veterans are not eligible for their veteran benefits. It's a shame that Mitt Romney would be OK prohibiting gay people from visiting their partners in hospitals. There is absolutely no reason other than fear and ignorance to prohibit gay people from marrying those they love.
And finally, the basis of the Vote Yes people is religion. Joe Biden said it best when asked about abortion during the debate. It is UNAMERICAN to push your religion and your religious views onto others. My religion is not necessarily yours. And my religion says that we are all equal.
Judy Goebel of Richfield:
First of all, the marriage in question is the marriage that is recognized by law. The kind that governs taxes, inheritance, taking financial responsibility for your spouse and children. Religious marriage is not affected. My church has been marrying same-gender couples for years. Other churches don’t. That won’t be affected.
Nobody will force clergy to perform ceremonies or churches to host same sex celebrations. The Catholic church still has issues with divorced people remarrying, and that has been legal for a very long time. Proponents of the amendment always seem to bring up the subject of children. The first thing I have noticed is that the traditional, Christian marriage vows do not bring up the subject of children. Look it up. There is a variation of the vows that asks if you will accept children into your lives if God gives them to you. Contrary to what the Marriage Prohibition supporters assert, same-gender couples have families. Not only that, but their children are not an accident. They are wanted children. Their parents value them.
Families with same-gender parents are in your community. The children go to the schools. The families go to churches that are not hostile to them. Voting yes is not going to change that. What it will do is create legal barriers, increase taxes for those families and remove legal responsibility for the care of the children and spouse. I am voting no because my religion does not teach me to behave hurtfully and hatefully toward my neighbors and their children. Voting no will not change the current law that does not allow same sex marriage. All it does is make it possible that at some future time our future selves may decide to expand the definition of marriage to include my neighbors.
Julie Deitering of Minnetonka:
I think everyone should have the same rights and benefits no matter who you marry, and I am Catholic.
Annie Shandorf of Minneapolis:
I will be voting no on the marriage amendment. I am adamantly against language in the Minnesota Constitution that prohibits, or suggests prohibition of personal freedoms.
Factually, Gay marriage is not legal in Minnesota - and regardless of a vote for or against the amendment Nov. 6th, this will not change. In my opinion, this amendment is completely unnecessary. I feel the sole purpose of voting yes it is to make certain individuals feel excluded. Specifically, I would like to challenge those who favor marriage only being recognized between a man and a woman for the sake of raising children. I am personally and completely insulted by this thought process. I was raised (for all intents and purposes) in a single parent home. My maternal Grandparents took me in as a baby, and my Grandfather died when I was 4. My formative years were all but completely influenced by one parent, and one gender. I submit to you I am a better person because of my upbringing, not due to the gender of my parent but the person my Grandmother was and the values she instilled in me.
Now, I am 32 and I've been in a committed relationship for the better part of a decade. We're unmarried, currently with separate residences, and childless - by choice. We're often judged because we've not yet married and/or because we are not currently planning on having children. In our society, if I have the right to not marry and not have children, how dare I tell someone else they cannot marry and shouldn’t have children?
The only arguments that have been brought forth to me advocating a Yes vote are in the form of bible quotes. Please, indulge me. Christ said "Let the one among you without sin cast the first stone" and "render on to Caesar that which is Caesar's, and God, what is God's", If someone else can pick and choose such text to prove their point, so can I.
Want to weigh-in? Leave a comment below.
Other releated articles:
- Minnesota Marriage Amendment: This Is Why I'm Voting 'Yes'
- Minnesota Voter ID Amendment: This Is Why I'm Voting 'No'
- Minnesota Voter ID Amendment: This Is Why I'm Voting 'Yes'