Minnesota's Marriage Amendment: Why I'm Voting Yes

Twin Cities resident Bonnie Gasper advocates the amendment, stating a definition for marriage is needed on the state's high document.

Our family visited the "Vote NO" booth at the MN State Fair in August and spoke with a self identified attorney volunteering for the cause. I asked him what the logical outcome of what constitutes 'marriage' will be if they are successful in redefining the meaning of marriage. He said that concern was a "separate issue."

So, I asked him if marriage is indeed a 'right', then how can he deny that 'right' to others who desire polygamous, polyamorous, even incestuous relationships as deeply as people of the same sex? Again, he said it was a "separate issue."

It isn't a separate issue, because it reveals the uncomfortable truth that if marriage is regarded as merely a 'right' and not an historical institution defined by God, understood and recognized as the union of one man and one woman, then anything can qualify. Anything.

Since he was an attorney, I also asked since many companies now provide domestic partner benefits, what other marriage 'benefits' were unavailable to committed same-sex couples that someone like him couldn't remedy with legal paperwork? He didn't name any.

Society does not prevent same sex or opposite sex couples from cohabitating or forming long term commitments to each other. They can and they will continue having the freedom to do so. However, society (as well as the courts) are not free to call those unions marriages when they are not.

And marriage is not a civil right. People with same sex attraction have the same enumerated rights as every other American and they are protected by our Constitution.

I'm happy to report our conversation with this man was spirited yet very respectful. We thanked him for not calling us haters, bigots or homophobes and he seemed sincerely sor ry that so many on his side prefer to shout down or silence the opposition rather than discuss the issue. (Evidently, those who keep stealing the Vote YES to Marriage signs in Eden Prairie, don't share his tolerance or respectfulnes!)

Marriage is a unique institution that stands alone as a union of one man and one woman, and our government has a compelling interest to protect it.

Bonnie Gasper
Eden Prairie


Happy in St. Michael November 05, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Excellent points, Bonnie. Thanks for taking the time and energy to write this. :)
Tom November 05, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Without disrespecting your religion, as I am a Christian myself, in Luke 16:18 it says "Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery. " Should we then deny all straight people the privilege of divorce?
Lynne November 05, 2012 at 03:23 PM
First of all, what happened to separation of church and state? If marriage must be defined legally, then we should consider marriage as a union between two loving and consenting adults commited to their relationship. Pastors could then choose for themselves whether they will perform same sex marriages. It should not be up to the US or State goverments to make that a law.
Dan George November 05, 2012 at 05:15 PM
most benefits from which same-sex couples are excluded are at the federal level. same sex couples do not have the same immigration rights, meaning that it can be very hard for one's same-sex spouse to live and/or work in the us. it also means that the children of same-sex parents may not be entitled to the citizenship rights of both parent's nations. there are also financial benefits associated with filing jointly, and laws pertaining to estates that do would not need to tie up the courts or be re-written if same sex couples can marry. if you believe that same sex couples deserve to be treated equally, there is no such thing as "separate but equal". if you don't want gay marriage, don't get gay married -- why deprive others of basic human rights?
Lynne November 05, 2012 at 06:08 PM
There may be confusion here. I am NOT voting yes. My point was too many people are pushing the yes vote beause of religious reasons.


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