Minnesota Newspapers: Vote No on Proposed Marriage Ban
October 22, 2012 by Carolyn Simon, Deputy Director of Digital Media
Minnesota’s proposed marriage ban is discriminatory. It’s anachronistic. It’s a rejection of equal rights. And it has no place in the state’s Constitution.
These are the arguments put forth this weekend in editorials from three separate Minnesota newspapers. All three urge voters to reject the amendment that would limit the freedom to marry for committed same sex-couples.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the state’s largest newspaper, devoted more than 700 words to a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the arguments that are made in support of the ban.
“Religions can and do limit matrimony to heterosexuals, and it is their right to refuse marriage to whomever they please,” the editorial reads. “But it is not government's role to deny rights based on religion.”
It also takes on the tired old argument about the “defense of traditional marriage.”
“There is no legitimate proof that same-sex marriages have any impact whatsoever on other families or relationships...Studies have shown that marriage is indeed good for children -- the commitment tends to result in more stability and responsibility from the adults involved -- whether the parents are gay or straight.”
The editorial ends with a passionate plea for compassion and empathy.
“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,” the editorial reads. “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.”
The St. Cloud Times, which covers the news of the third-largest metro area in the state, and the Red Wing Republican Eagle, which covers the news of Red Wing (which is just 50 miles southeast of the Twin Cities) and surrounding communities, also urged voters to reject the marriage amendment.
“The Nov. 6 vote on the proposed ‘marriage amendment’ isn’t about society, religion or personal conviction,” the Red Wing Republican Eagle editorial reads. “The vote is about amending the Minnesota Constitution to deny rights to citizens who aren’t heterosexual.”
The St. Cloud Times also put a strong emphasis on equal rights.
“While it is difficult to distill from something so seeped in tradition, marriage in the eyes of government is essentially a contract between two consenting adults. The contract means the state guarantees those adults certain rights and privileges,” the Times’ editorial reads. “Rejecting this proposed amendment prevents permanent revocation of those rights and privileges for gay people, yet still allows all people of faith to apply their respective definitions and traditions of marriage within their faiths.”
The editors’ words differ slightly, but their unified message is clear: Vote no – don’t limit the freedom to marry for Minnesotans.
HRC is a proud supporter of the coalition, Minnesotans United for All Families, working to defeat the amendment banning same-sex marriage in the state. HRC has set up a special fund – HRC Minnesota Family Freedom PAC – to direct 100 percent of your contribution to defeat the anti-marriage constitutional amendment in Minnesota.
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