Minnesota is now GROUND ZERO for defense of marriage

MN Marriage Amendment 2012I wanted to add a follow up to this: MINNESOTA READERS – WDTPRS POLL

For November 2012 there is on the ballot in Minnesota an amendment to the state constitution which would define marriage as being between one man and one woman.

Minnesota is now ground zero for the issue of marriage.

This amendment must be approved positively by the voters in Minnesota.


No vote is a “No” vote.

That is, if voters leave that box blank, it will count as a “NO” vote, against the amendment.

Voters must vote YES to have the vote count as a yes.  A nothing winds up being a vote against.

In other words, a voter who leaves that box blank, thinking she doesn’t want to take a position, has been given her position for her.

Blank box = NO.

Get it?

Make a conscious effort to LOOK FOR this item on the ballot, for the ballot may be complicated.

Polling show that only 2% of voters in Minnesota are undecided.

Therefore, it is important for readers of this blog in Minnesota to GET OUT THE VOTE in favor of the amendment.

If you are in Minnesota or have friends or relatives in Minnesota, help to get the vote out.  Keep this in mind as the election draws near.

Get the word out about this tricky ballot blank box problem.

Also, I bring to your attention a good organization you can help no matter where you were.

Check out the page of the Minnesota Family Council, which is a coalition of various groups who are coordinating their efforts in defense of marriage and the family and the passage of the amendment.  Also check out Minnesota for Marriage.

Remember, Minnesota is now GROUND ZERO.

Everyone in the USA has a stake in what is happening in Minnesota.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. ContraMundum says:

    I hope that the “no vote = a ‘NO’ vote” policy holds for other amendments, too.

    Even though I want this amendment to pass, I can see some wisdom in installing a bias against any change. We have that in the US Constitution, of course, and I’ve long suspected that many people vote “yes” if they don’t care, thinking someone else must have a good reason for suggesting the change.

  2. Titus says:

    I hope that the “no vote = a ‘NO’ vote” policy holds for other amendments, too.

    That’s purely a matter of the language of the amendment process in the applicable Constitution. I imagine that the Minnesota provision, at which I have not looked, says something to the effect of “a majority of persons casting ballots in any state-wide election on the day in question.” Tennessee’s constitution requires that an amendment be affirmed by a majority of those casting ballots in the gubernatorial election: if you don’t vote for governor, your vote on the amendment doesn’t count.

    In other news, it would be useful for some of these groups to work to provide absentee ballots to people who will be out of the state, including Minnesotans away at college (well, some of them at least) who haven’t registered to vote in their college towns.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    The trickery never ends. Who decided that an absent vote is a “no” vote. That is pretty biased. It should be, an absent vote is an absent vote on the referendum. I have no idea what is usually done, but this should never have been allowed. Just one of the million tricky ways people stack the deck in their favor.
    Come on, Minnesotans! Get out there, and bring a friend!

    Before you vote, please see the website “MassResistance” if you are wondering what happens in a state where same-sex marriage is legalized. Massachusetts is living it, and it’s not good for Christian parents. Gay activists, knowing they have the law behind them, are becoming more and more aggressive and obnoxious. At a recent Tea Party rally, they broke up the group by marching through the crowd, screaming obscenities, wearing terribly vulgar signs, and preventing the Tea Party speaker from being heard. Disruption is a strategy, and these folks don’t mind depriving others of their Constitutional rights if it suits them. The police in Massachusetts and Rhode Island typically stand by while things get dangerously ugly. They do not typically intervene no matter how threatening it becomes. They do not protect the right of assembly, nor prevent the agitators from disrupting speakers.

    There is a link on the right, entitled “Massachusetts Since Same-Sex Marriage”, or something similar, please check out this very concise list of actual repercussions in Massachusetts since the law has been changed. Schools are promoting same-sex relationships, giving out graphic materials, and Superintendents are “coming out” with their partners, to the students. If parents complain, they are dismissed as being “inappropriate”.
    It is critical that we all know how it really is in a state where same-sex marriage has been legalized, and PASS THE WORD. Please share the website as often as you can. The folks at MassResistance are brave people. They are on the front lines of a culture war, and they are doing their best to push back on this radical social experimentation.
    The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a fantastic organization that gets involved on the state level to help. They are hard workers, and Brian Brown, the Oxford trained Director, a devout Catholic, is a super terrific family man, and fearless to boot. NOM deserves great support.
    Please, Good Jesus, help us win this very crucial battle, state by state if we must.

  4. APX says:

    So let’s say people just don’t even make it to the polls to vote. Would that also count as a no vote? This is some weird way of democracy.

  5. Ingatius says:

    Let’s pray it does pass and that the traditional institution of marriage is defended.

  6. inara says:

    We have 19 close relatives in MN, 6 of whom are old enough to vote ~ I know for certain 4 WILL vote & vote “yes” for the amendment (& the Mormon orange juice can). The other 2 usually don’t vote, so at least they won’t count as “no”s.

  7. BaedaBenedictus says:

    In Minnesota, the “Progressive Catholic Voice”, “Catholics for Marriage Equality”, the “Catholic Pastoral Committee on Sexual Minorities” (CPCSM), and the “Catholic Coalition for Church Reform” are vigorously campaigning against the amendment, and they have plenty of allies among the masses of more casual dissenters in Minnesota parishes.

    Unless we rebuild our destroyed Catholic identity, we may win the occasional battle but will lose the war.

  8. trad catholic mom says:

    That is, if voters leave that box blank, it will count as a “NO” vote, against the amendment.

    How is that even legal?

    If the box is blank it shouldn’t count as anything.

  9. anilwang says:

    ContraMundum says “I hope that the “no vote = a ‘NO’ vote” policy holds for other amendments, too. ”

    The key problem is, the person writing the ballot gets to decide what NO quo means and the even what status is. Any time a judge strikes down a law, the status quote is whatever the judge decides even if the judgment goes against all previous case law and jurisprudence. Whenever the President tries to impose laws on the states in violation of state law, the status quo is whatever the President wants.

    IMO, the honest thing to do is to count no-vote as undecided. If the undecided vote is small and the measure passes, its law. If the undecided vote is large and either the YES or NO side wins, its clear that either people don’t care, or more likely, the amendment is a mixed bag that even people who want the amendment to pass might not like some of the side effects. In this case, more study is needed and another vote with a better amendment should be scheduled.

  10. Did you ever think we’d see a day when we’d need a constitutional amendment to define marriage? Can any honest person suppose the Founding Fathers — or, for that matter, the authors of individual state constitutions — had the slightest intention of enshrining sodomy as a guaranteed right? How is it that this “fundamental right” went completely undetected by any human being until our own time? The insanity of our age.

    In re high school seminaries: an orthodox high school seminary is probably one of the few places on earth where young men can have normal, healthy interactions.

  11. wmeyer says:

    After the madness of the hanging chad debacle, I can understand why the measure would require a YES, and anything else would mean NO. Also, in the context of a constitutional amendment, it requires, by its nature, a positive adoption.

    As to looking closely at the ballot, having lived many years in California, I learned there to look closely at every ballot item, as wording can turn things inside out.

  12. Please offer prayers for my friend Richard Aleman, who is the Minnesota Catholic Conference’s point man for getting this amendment passed. Richard is putting in 10- and 12-hour days, six days a week, criss-crossing the state, giving talks and presentations to parishes, KC lodges, and basically any group who wil listen, explaining the Church’s teaching on marriage and the importance of this amendment.

    Thank you.

  13. The Cobbler says:

    “The key problem is, the person writing the ballot gets to decide what NO quo means and the even what status is. Any time a judge strikes down a law, the status quote is whatever the judge decides even if the judgment goes against all previous case law and jurisprudence. Whenever the President tries to impose laws on the states in violation of state law, the status quo is whatever the President wants.”

    Thus the terrible truth of Dr. Horrible’s words: “Because the status is not quo.”

  14. Kathleen10 says:

    Sean, please thank your friend, Mr. Aleman, for me? We owe someone like your friend a great debt for their willingness to work so hard on this issue. It is really difficult to be the one who is saying the things that many people do not want to hear. It is not for the fainthearted. Not only the activists, but often their families come after you, and you are called a bigot, a hater, and so on. Threats are not uncommon, they are typical.
    I can’t think of another issue that is so potentially disruptive to our world. I say world, because the U.S. often exports it’s problems to other nations, especially developing nations, as they are often intimidated into going along with these “progressive” social policies in exchange for financial support. Politicians and political acts often get blamed for why the rest of the world “hate us”, but more likely it is these liberal social movements that provoke so many people in other countries.

  15. jbpolhamus says:

    Does that mean that if a voter doesn’t vote, then – their ballot being blank – their blank ballot will count as a “no” vote against that ammendment?

  16. Supertradmum says:

    In the law, silence is consent, is it not? If a man were beating up another man and I just stood there, that would mean I was complicit in the crime. An empty box should mean consent or yes, not no.

  17. Supertradmum says:

    ps, although, personally, it should mean nothing , either way, but the interpretation could be assent.

  18. Richard Aleman says:

    Dear Friends in Christ,

    I want to thank Fr. Z for lending his important voice in support of marriage and our upcoming Minnesota Protection Amendment. I have been an admirer of his for many years. Thanks to all of you for supporting this worthy and important cause. As all of you know, we at the Minnesota Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the Catholic Church in Minnesota, are working overtime to protect marriage and ensure the people of our state get out the vote on November 6th.

    Just to clarify: “a non-vote is a no vote” is policy for every proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution. The rationale for this is that whenever changing the constitution, government should err on the side of caution. The “no vote” policy only applies to those who will be voting in the upcoming election. Right or wrong, I want to make sure we understand the Marriage Protection Amendment is not being singled out.

    I would caution against making this a Left/Right issue, given that some prominent conservatives are backing marriage’s redefinition and others are arguing government should stay out of the marriage business altogether. As I travel across the state I’ve seen how the labeling of “conservative” and “progressive” has become increasingly irrelevant, specifically on this issue. Thankfully, the debate over the redefinition marriage gives the Catholic Church an opportunity to enter the public square and teach with Her majestic voice.

    The public debate over marriage is often framed around the question of who can marry. But before we can ask ourselves who can marry we must ask ourselves what marriage is. Marriage isn’t a distinguished title bestowed upon couples by the state nor is marriage the public affirmation of romantic relationships. Marriage isn’t about the happiness of adults or the public benefits derived thereof, benefits that can be easily acquired through private legal contract. Society has a keen interest in marriage because unlike other relationships marriage serves a public purpose. What purpose? Marriage is special because it unites one man and one woman and any children born from their union. It’s precisely because marriage is a child-centered institution that government is involved in the marriage business

    As I travel across Minnesota giving talks to parishes and KofC local councils, I ask the faithful to pray for us. Please consider keeping us in your intentions. Minnesotans or not, we are all Catholics and all eyes should be on Minnesota from now until November.

    In Domino,
    Richard Aleman

    [Thanks for chiming in! You are welcome here.]

  19. onearmsteve says:

    Looks like Target is in the tank for gay marriage now they are selling this t-shirt to raise money for the gay cause http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/47652225#.T81dN9XpGSp

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