“Liberty and justice for all” is a great American ideal, and it’s why I’m voting NO on the marriage restriction amendment. If we take the Pledge of Allegiance seriously, it follows that all Americans deserve equal rights and responsibilities, including same-sex couples and their families.
When the Supreme Court struck down state laws forbidding interracial marriage in 1967, nearly three-fourths of the public opposed the change. If marriage rights had been put to a vote, interracial marriage would have remained illegal until 1991, when popular opinion finally swung to majority support. That’s why putting equal rights to a vote isn’t always fair. Two wolves and a sheep can vote on what to eat for dinner, but it’s not exactly justice for the sheep.
Gay and straight soldiers serve side by side in Afghanistan, and are equally exposed to the dangers of war. Yet Minnesota denies some of them the security and comfort of a spouse to come home to. Is this justice for all?
Amendment supporters worry that churches would be forced to hold same-sex weddings. But while the state recognizes divorce, and the Catholic Church does not, no priest has ever been forced to marry someone who was previously divorced. Churches determine their own marriage rules.
Voting NO on the marriage amendment won’t change current Minnesota law forbidding same-sex marriage. But rejecting the amendment on Tuesday means that someday our state might join others in reaching for the goal of liberty and justice for all.
On Tuesday, vote NO.