ECM Editorial Board: 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 responsibilty. 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 amendement 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 is a product of the ECM Editorial Board.

  • Mark Anderson

    Where do we draw the line? What about statutory rape, incest and bestiality. If both parties consent then doesn’t making the act illegal limit their freedoms as well? I believe allowing gay marriage will open pandora’s box and we will see a flood of new “Rights Violation” cases. You may be thinking that things like incest would never become legal. Think about it, if a mam can marry a man then it’s not to far fetched to believe that a brother can marry a sister or a brother.

  • http://[email protected] Dillard Jenkins

    Nothing can stop brothers and sister from engaging in sex regardless of their marital status, unfortunate as that fact is, it is still a fact. Countries with the least amount civil liberties and individual rights for women and children will have the fewest checks in place to dissuade victimization by incestuous predators. In countries with regimes that women and children do not have a voice, are most likely to engage in non-consensual or cultural incest. What countries do you think have the highest instances of incest. Western counseling agencies reports that around 78% of women and children (males and females) coming from the most repressive country regimes such as Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Chechnya have experienced on-going or initiative non-consensual incest. When you combine poverty with alcoholism, the pervasiveness of both consensual incest and violent based dramatically increases within any given society, culture, and country. In the United States, while incest is not statistically high, certain regions suffer from quadruple the rate of incest; such as many of those from the poverty-alcoholism stricken region of the Appalachian Mountains and the swamps or backwoods of the Deep South. I have an idea why this happens in these regions and you probably have yours.