ECM Editorial: Passage of marriage amendment would suppress freedom

Richard Carlbom, campaign manager for Minnesotans United for All Families, looks at his parents and sees their marriage as a testimony to love, commitment and responsibility. Their marriage, he says, is also a sign that the married couple will be in each other’s lives forever.

Carlbom, a gay man originally from North Branch, wonders why Minnesota is keeping him and his partner from having the same sense of security that his parents have.

The Editorial Board of ECM Publishers Inc. joins Carlbom, Minnesotans United for All Families and more than 500 organizations in opposing the proposed marriage amendment, which seeks to define marriage in our state constitution as a union between a man and a woman and would limit the freedom of same-sex couples to marry.

The key word here is freedom.

America was not founded on the principle of oppression. America was founded on the principle of freedom.

Passing the amendment would place limits in our constitution on the freedom of same-sex citizens. It would erect a barrier to continuing the discussion of same-sex marriage, for today’s voters and for future generations of Minnesotans who might want to reopen the debate.

Voters would, in fact, be making choices for those future generations. Voters would be telling many of their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren that marriage won’t be an option for them.

That’s not freedom, that’s oppression, and we are concerned what message that sends the world about our state. What kind of Minnesota do we want to present to the world?

The implications of that message may reach farther than we realize. We believe the marriage amendment, if passed, would limit the ability to recruit and retain top talent. Minnesota companies such as General Mills and St. Jude Medical have spoken out against the amendment, saying it would hurt their ability to recruit and hire a diverse group of employees.

We are also concerned about making rash decisions. Americans once limited the voting rights of women and African-Americans. Times change. Moral climates change. Just like our views changed on the voting rights of women and African-Americans, some day the majority of Minnesotans might find it acceptable that same-sex couples marry. Perhaps they already do. Why stifle the conversation with an ill-considered constitutional amendment that serves only one point of view?

The group Minnesota for Marriage supports the amendment and believes that same-sex marriage deprives a child of an opportunity for the best environment to grow up in. Children do best when they are raised by a mother and a father, the group states.

While we found this a compelling point, we believe children will thrive in environments in which they are loved by two parents, regardless of the gender make-up of those parents.

We think it’s important that people love whom they wish to love, and have an opportunity to marry whom they wish to marry. It’s a simple case of treating people with the same kind of respect with which you would want to be treated.

But at the end of the day, this isn’t a debate solely about marriage.

It’s a debate about law and governance, and we think it’s wrong that the question is on the ballot at all. There is already a law on Minnesota’s books defining marriage as an act between a man and a woman. That means that today, without any amendment being approved or disapproved, Minnesota does not legally recognize or sanction same-sex marriages.

That will not change regardless of how Minnesotans vote on the marriage amendment. If the amendment fails, same-sex couples will still not be allowed to legally marry  in Minnesota.

For these reasons we oppose the marriage amendment.

This editorial is a product of the ECM Editorial Board. Sun Thisweek and the Dakota County Tribune are part of ECM Publishers Inc.




    Yes the key word is freedom; self-governance to preserve stable homes for children is an act of freedom.
    Our republic gives us the freedom from top down, oppressive rule by an elite few.
    State government allows us the freedom to have small laboratories of democracy to try different ideas. When something works the other states will follow, if not they are free to choose their own path, and we can move to the states we are like minded with.
    The freedom to protect children with the most stable environment is an important one. A quick study of history reveals many cultures naturally migrated toward one man one woman definition

    • RollieB

      Au contraire, TP28, the tide is in the other direction. Same-sex “marriage” or unions are inevitable. Stay tuned…

      • TAXPAYER28

        they may be, but the real issue is wether self government will continue or if an alogarcy of judges will rule us.

        • RollieB

          TP28, will you recognize the SCOTUS ruling on DOMA when it’s handed down?

          • TAXPAYER28

            what difference would it make? scotus has long left the constitution in shreds. just look at the last 3 ruling this past year for proof.

        • M Quimby

          What is an “alogarcy?”

          • TAXPAYER28

            oligarchy, forgive my spelling/ typing. I’m still trying to overcome that government school education:)

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    RollieB, with regards to, “TP28, will you recognize the SCOTUS ruling on DOMA when it’s handed down?” recognizing and agreeing wtih/to are different things. If you are getting at what I think you are getting at, I propose the same question to you, but substitute “Citizens United” for “DOMA.” I look forward to your answer.

    • RollieB

      Yes, I accept it. And to your point – I don’t exactly like nor agree with the Citizens United decision.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    Thank you for your prompt answer. As you are aware, I happen to be on your end of the Marriage Amendment debate. I will be concerned if scotus rules against DOMA. Did you know Paul Wellstone and his wife were 100% in favor of the original iterations of DOMA more than 10 years ago? Mr. Wellstone, a prominent lawyer, professor and historian reasoned that it upset the social applecart enough to preclude a successful argument of inviduals’ rights. Actually, a fascinationg and well reasoned defense of traditional marriage. If you are interested, I think I have a link to post.

    • RollieB

      Rosie, I don’t think Paul Wellstone was a lawyer, I believe his PhD was in Political Science. To your point, though, the times they are a changin’.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    I meant if scotus rules against appealing DOMA. But, you likely got my gist.

  • wageslave

    Wellstone weren’t no lawyer. Just a poli sci prof.

    I remember the crap he took for supporting DOMA. Had he lived longer, I doubt he would have stayed there. DOMA was, what — 1996?

    Rosie, the interpretation you cite is interesting — that Wellstone would not risk the cause of INDIVIDUAL rights (I’ll presume gay rights) on what would have been risky opposition to DOMA.

    I don’t understand your conclusion that this would have been an irrevocable defense of traditional marriage. Your interpretation suggests Wellstone wouldn’t risk a poison pill blocking the road to an outcome he likely would have eventually supported.

    • Rosie from Rosemount

      wage, I did not say it was an irrevocable defense of marriage, I said it was well-reasoned and fascinating argument. I stand corrected, Mr. Wellstone was a law maker, not a lawyer. BTW, Bill Clinton signed DOMA into law and there were not enough votes to over ride a veto, so it appears Mr. Clinton signed it as an act of principle not politics.