What the Minnesota Constitution “marriage amendment” is not.

On the November ballot in Minnesota is an amendment to the state constitution which would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.  Minnesota is, right now, ground zero in the issue of same-sex marriage.

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

In marriage amendment vote, a focus on the future
By Doug Belden

Minnesotans are not deciding this November whether same-sex couples can marry.

They can’t, under state law, and the outcome of the vote will do nothing to change that.

[QUAERITUR:] So, what’s the point?

What’s at stake, say advocates on both sides, is how Minnesota will be set up to grapple with gay marriage in the future.

To Jason Adkins, vice chairman of the campaign supporting the proposed amendment, the vote is the public’s chance to weigh in before the “elites” get a chance to redefine marriage through the courts or Legislature.  [You mean, people still have rights?  I thought everything these says was decided by activist judges!]

To Richard Carlbom, who’s leading the opposition effort, voting the amendment down allows the debate about same-sex marriage to continue. [Voting for the amendment allows it to continue also.]

Amending the state’s constitution to define marriage as a heterosexual union would bring “a hard stop to the conversation,” said Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families. “It ties the hands of future generations.” [Even if we accept that premise, I say “GOOD!”]

Carlbom said his group’s goal is not to secure gay-marriage rights but to preserve an environment [HA!  Surrrrrre it is!] in which the state can figure it out without a conclusion having been locked in to the constitution.

But Adkins, executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference and vice chairman of Minnesota for Marriage, says the amendment would not be a permanent ban on gay marriage. “It’s not irreversible,” he said. “It’s pretty easy to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.”

What it would do is allow Minnesotans to affirm the definition of marriage that exists in state law in advance of action by “powerful legal and cultural forces seeking to redefine marriage,” Adkins said.


The article is longish, but well-worth your time.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. frjim4321 says:

    Thank you, I find that interesting.

    Maybe its been a long weekend so far, but is there a link to the article in this post?

    I would like to learn more about this ballot issue.

  2. Serviam1 says:

    Ground Zero?!!! Blah, blah blah…

    With due respect, the horse has been out of the barn since 17 May 2004 in Massachusetts? Where was everybody in the Catholic Blogosphere then? The Massachusetts Legislature would never seriously consider a Voter Referendum and essentially filabustered to save on the embarrassment of taking it to vote and simply ran out the clock on two occassions. 120,oo0 Voter signatures requesting a Ballot Referendum was simply ignored.

    What did we get? A homosexualist intimidation lobby posted all the signers on their web site to cow others.

    This is the Kennedy legacy, now everyone else has to deal with this mess.

  3. Sissy says:

    It’s good that the people of Minnesota get an opportunity to amend their constitution to make it clear that marriage is only between one man and one woman. But I’m doubtful it will do much to deter the homosexual lobby. Californians voted the same way, and a homosexual judge overruled them (sending the case on up to the SC). After the events of last week, does anyone place much faith in the Supreme Court to rule against unnatural marriage?

  4. Kerry says:

    That I infrequently watch the local news and my sample is therefore limited, however, without exception on channels 4,5,9,& 45 here in St. Paul the talking lips say, “The bill banning gay marraige”, or “The bill which would ban…”. Not once, not one single time that I have seen, have these locals read or reported the text of the amendment: “Shall the Minnesota constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”
    There, how hard was that?
    (On another note, regarding the Zimmerman/Martin case, not once have they show Martin as he was at the time, but show him as a 14 year old. Grrrr.)

  5. charismatictrad says:

    I think what bothers me (among many other things) is the way in which this is being voted on. First of all, the title “marriage amendment” makes one think that our understanding or definition of marriage is being redefined. As in, traditional marriage is being changed with the “marriage amendment.” Therefore, the majority that supports traditional marriage would vote “no” to change marriage, unaware of the fact that voting “no” on the ballot in this case actually means that you are in support of gay “marriage.” That’s a dirty trick. But it gets worse: leaving the box blank counts as a “no.”

    So…in November in MN, vote “yes” for traditional marriage and tell your friends the same. Even if they’re not a practicing Catholic, they are more than likely opposed to gay “marriage.”

    And a side note on this issue: why are there not as many comments on this particular post? Is it because it has to do with MN? This is our country, people! We need to be aware of what’s going on around us! I know I’m guilty of this, and in noticing the lack of comments here, I’m going to change that.

    Whew, sorry about that.

  6. Kathleen10 says:

    In Connecticut same-sex marriage was decided the way everything is now decided, by liberal activist judges, in the middle of the night, I believe. All of a sudden, it was just THERE. There we were, with same-sex marriage, like it or not. No referendum, the people were so apathetic, they turned down the opportunity to VOTE on the issue. I stood outside with a sign trying to inform voters as they were going in to vote, at least vote for a vote! But no, lack of information about what was at stake was so well hidden by the media, just not discussed, that people were ignorant of what they were ignoring on the ballot! Hey, it works. The media wants it that way, and so it is. The electorate is often grossly ignorant. They just adopt the talking points of friends and co-workers. Much easier.
    The panel of judges who foisted this on Connecticut, didn’t even have our “regular” panel. One judge was just filling in! Absurd.
    Regarding Minnesota, we want to “end the conversation”. Yes indeed. This topic is so divisive, and so polarizing. It is splitting our country, or furthering the split, now that people are beginning to understand what is at stake. Minnesota, put it in your state Constitution. 32 out of 32 states have said no to same-sex marriage, for excellent reason. Marriage is a covenant between God, one man and one woman. We have to fight hard to keep it that way.

  7. Facta Non Verba says:

    @Kerry: I agree with your observation of the local media. Note that secretary Mark Ritchie just had the language on the ballot changed to read: shall the Minnesota Constitioun be amended to limit marriage only to opposite sec couples. There is now litigation stirring up over this revision by Mr. Ritchie.

  8. Kerry says:

    Facta, Ritchie did what!? Oh my, sin does make you stupid.

  9. Facta Non Verba says:

    Correction to my earlier post: Secretary Ritchie changed the title on the ballot, which will be directly above the ballot question. The ballot question is unchanged, but the title will now read: “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples.”

    My apologies for the previously inaccurate post and for the typos. (No more posting for me before my first cup of coffee.)

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