Marriage amendment: Wrong and unconstitutional
To the editor:
In a letter printed April 27, a reader stated that non-passage of the marriage amendment would be a threat to his religious beliefs. He urged readers to vote yes on the amendment in order to keep marriage to the definition specified by his beliefs and his religious organization.
I do not question his right to live according to the teachings of his faith and the urges of his conscience. However, I think that the marriage amendment is wrong.
I could cite the more than 200 organizations that have joined Minnesotans United for All Families in the fight against this discriminatory amendment. I could point out that 71 of those are categorized as “faith organizations,” 45 of those are easily identified as Christian, and two are Catholic.
But that’s not really the point. The writer of the April 27 letter, and others like him, want this amendment to pass because it will uphold religious beliefs. They want the Minnesota State Constitution amended to establish one set of religious beliefs over all others.
This would clearly violate the United States Constitution, which states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In other words, there cannot be a law that forces a Roman Catholic church to perform marriages deemed to be in violation of their doctrine. Neither can there be a law that forbids such marriages taking place in other churches or in county courthouses, if the sole objection to those marriages is a religious one.
I am proud to say I am voting no on the marriage amendment. I urge all Minnesotans to do the same. The amendment isn’t just wrong, it’s unconstitutional.