Why I voted Yes on the marriage amendment in MN

posted at 8:41 am on November 6, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The ballot in my state has two somewhat controversial referendums, both of which probably have more drama than any of the candidate races — including, until just recently, the presidential election.  One measure should pass rather easily, as the voter-ID requirement has maintained its popularity throughout most of this cycle.  The other would move the current statutory definition of marriage into the state constitution, and its future looks more murky.  Before I left Minnesota to spend the election in California, I cast my ballot in support of both measures, and I’ll explain why — and urge my fellow Minnesotans to join me.

First, contrary to what the measure’s opponents have written, it doesn’t change the definition of marriage in the state.  Marriage in Minnesota is restricted by statute to one man and one woman.  The measure would amend the state constitution to define it more foundationally.  That puts the issue outside the reach of the judiciary, which in other states changed the definition of marriage without voters having any say in this government policy.  If at some point in the future Minnesota voters want to change the definition of marriage to something else, they can amend the state constitution to do so — and only need a simple majority of all ballots cast, as is the case today.  Citizens who believe that representative government and direct democracy are better forms of self-government than judicial fiat should support this process.

Second, I believe that government has little legitimate interest in formal recognition of sexual relationships (other than to bar consanguinous relationships or exploitative relationships with minors), and that the formal recognition process that marriage represents should only take place where government has a pressing interest.  I’ve written before that I think government would do best to stay out of marriage altogether, and leave it to the churches.  That would be the best possible solution in a perfect libertarian world.

However, that’s not the world in which we live.  The only legitimate state interest in otherwise consensual sexual relationships are those whose form could produce offspring.  Government offers recognition of marriage (and certain incentives) in order to fix paternity and hold parents responsible for upkeep and behavior of children produced from those relationships.  We have seen the damage done to society from children produced outside of marriage, and the costs to our communities through the increased need for government services. That doesn’t mean that every marriage has to produce children to be legitimate, but the form of the heterosexual relationship is the only one in which government has any legitimate interest in certifying ahead of the production of offspring. Otherwise, government has no legitimate role in licensing sexual relationships, and no need to do so.

Third — and to my mind, the most compelling, especially of late — allowing for the possibility of redefining marriage leaves churches vulnerable to government intrusions at the altar.  Right now, churches act as agents of the state in conducting weddings.  For those who think that a change in definition would not inevitably lead to mandates on churches to “not discriminate” in conducting ceremonies for those relationships which violate their religious doctrines hasn’t been paying attention to the HHS mandate.  In that case, the federal government will force religious organizations (schools, charities, health-care providers) to violate their doctrines by facilitating access to contraception and sterilization, and that’s without the added lever of acting in stead of the state, as churches do when officiating at weddings.  Instead of leaving marriage to the churches, a change in definition will give the state a powerful way to either force churches to perform weddings that violate their belief systems or stop performing them altogether.

And that last point relates to the second, too.  If we are to hand that kind of lever to the state, it shouldn’t be the state itself — through its judiciary — that activates that lever.  That decision has to come from an informed electorate that truly wants its government to begin licensing sexual relationships in which they have no real interest, and giving their government an opening to push churches out of the sacrament of marriage.

For those reasons, I urge my fellow Minnesotans to vote yes on the marriage amendment, as I did last week.


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Voted Yes here

mrscullen on November 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Well, that’s actually pretty simple Ed, It’s what a bad Catholic but a Good RINO would do.

SWalker on November 6, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Maybe you should read the post and not just the headline.

Ed Morrissey on November 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Ed,

I must disagree with you on this issue. I believe strong in getting the Government out of our lives both financially and socially. I think the government shouldn’t be involved in who can marry, even if this means I disagree with it on a Religious viewpoint.

If the goal is to protect children from being raised by gays, we have already failed and this will not help. Single and gay people can already adopt and preventing them from marring doesn’t stop this.

If the goal was to protect churches from being forced to marry gays against their views, then this could have been accomplished in a much better way. Passing a state law that protects religious non-profits from doing things that go against their teaching would have protected far more than just marriage, and it would likely protect marriage after/when/if it becomes legal.

If you believe it goes against God to live in a homosexual relationship that is within your belief and your right. I voted no today because I believe this amendment is poorly written, and only aim is to prevent things that have long since already happened. I voted no because the rights of people to live sinful lives that do not harm others exist. They should not be financially punished for doing what they feel is right.

The way this Country treats gay in relation to other sins is a stark contrast. We do no treat audulters this way, we do no treat single unwed mothers this way. Yes, there are social stigmas to both, but the way either of those is treated is far less than anything done to those who profess themselves as homosexual.

Maybe someday we can come to agreement Ed, but for this issue I disagree.

–John

Venar on November 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Uhhh…Laura, you didn’t vote w/ Ed if you voted for Question 6. 22044 on November 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Don’t confuse her more, making her think hard. She’ll get nothing done today.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Maybe you should read the post and not just the headline.
Ed Morrissey on November 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM

{snort!}

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Huge lines here in rochester. More than in 2008. I’m thinking that’s a good sign

mrscullen on November 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Dixie Chicks hating on Bush and the Military, doesn’t support your argument for gay marriage.

upinak on November 6, 2012 at 9:04 AM

And fans deciding not to spend their money supporting Dixie Chicks is a whole lot different from government telling fans that they’re not allowed to attend a Dixie Chicks concert.

It was not gay’s telling their followers to avoid Chick Fil A that caused the fire store; it was the government telling Chick Fil A that they couldn’t do business anymore because their religious beliefs weren’t acceptable. BIG difference there.

Portia46 on November 6, 2012 at 9:44 AM

For those who think that a change in definition would not inevitably lead to mandates on churches to “not discriminate” in conducting ceremonies for those relationships which violate their religious doctrines hasn’t been paying attention to the HHS mandate.

The logic appears to be that secular laws need to comply with church doctrine, otherwise churches are threatened.

You propose, on the one hand, that states be able to fund contraception if they choose while churches receive an exception. However, you now claim that marriage laws must comply with church law to protect the churches. Why not be consistent on the issue and advocate for strong exceptions for churches with regard to contraception and gay marriage?

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Don’t confuse her more, making her think hard. She’ll get nothing done today.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Sorry mate!
I didn’t really understand Ed’s post either, so I googled a couple of links to review the Marriage Amendment. :)

22044 on November 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I believe you all are willing to call me a Communist for supporting Obama, correct?

libfreeordie on November 6, 2012 at 9:38 AM

You believe incorrectly, but that’s not surprising.

You could be one of those voters who agrees with Obama on 70% of the issues, and with Romney on 25%. That’s an easy decision for you as a voter, but doesn’t make you a communist.

And once you define ‘refusal to publicly advocate for my lifestyle’ as ‘anti-gay,’ you’ve lost me.

Washington Nearsider on November 6, 2012 at 9:46 AM

The gay lobby doesn’t demand tolerance. They demand you SUPPORT them. Tolerance falls squarely into the ‘what you do in your house is your business, not the government’s’ camp. That’s where I come down. I couldn’t care less who does what with whom.

What I care about – and despise – is being told that I’m a hate-mongering bigot because I won’t actively campaign for their lifestyle.

Washington Nearsider on November 6, 2012 at 8:55 AM

In a nutshell this is exactly how I feel. I despise the gay lobby and their tactics.

Ah, but this is all just a sideshow to the main event today–ridding ourselves of the marxist menace that is engulfing this country. The first order of business for that is to cut off the head of the marxist snake TODAY. So lets keep the focus people . . .

KickandSwimMom on November 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

You think so? Tell that to the 9th Circuit. According to them, the founding fathers built gay marriage into our federal Constitution right from the beginning. Who knew?

Socratease on November 6, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Well, it puts it outside the reach of the state judiciary, which is at least one positive step. But you’re right.

Eventually, this thing is going to have to be decided at the federal level, regardless of what the libertarian types think. Why? Because (a) federal judges will choose to insert themselves into the debate, and different circuits will rule differently, leaving it to the U.S. Supreme Court to sort out, and (b) the full faith and credit clause of the Constitution ensures that if one state approves “gay marriage” then no other state will be able to effectively reject it. The only solutions, ultimately, are to accept whatever the Supreme Court says or pass a constitutional amendment.

Shump on November 6, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM

So what’s your beef with me?

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 9:50 AM

There will soon be cures for homosexuality, and perhaps in-utero detection and prevention. The homosexual generation of today is the last, and will be studied in the future as a genetic curiosity.

slickwillie2001 on November 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Yes, much as cures were found to polio and syphillis, modern science will deliver a cure for homosexuality.

CorporatePiggy on November 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The only legitimate state interest in otherwise consensual sexual relationships are those whose form could produce offspring.

There is no legitimate state interest for any voluntary relationship, sexual or otherwise. None at all.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

The government has no right to be involved in any marriage. I don’t know why you people for this statist trap. But go ahead and keep voting to give more and more power to the government.

Riposte on November 6, 2012 at 9:52 AM

In MN the current law is marriage is between a man and women, if the marriage constitutional amendment passes it will be the same. The only difference is it will take another constitutional amendment to change it. Therefore it can’t be changed by the legislature, or by a judge.

It does not prevent the legislature from creating a civil union for those so inclined.

Dasher on November 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Hardest hit by your vote=Ace

Mr. Arrogant on November 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Don’t confuse her more, making her think hard. She’ll get nothing done today.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Yeah, I like your other posts but what’s up w/ the snark towards Laura? Unless you’re joking?

22044 on November 6, 2012 at 9:57 AM

ninjapirate on November 6, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Wow, don’t hold back, tell him how you really feel. No beta male competitions for you today.

Cindy Munford on November 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Thanks Ed, a very nice write up and reasoning. It is interesting to see the libertarian view come to the same conclusions I have and with pretty much identical reasoning.

I have had a couple conversations here on Hot Air in the recent past that have changed my view of libertarianism to an extent positively, this write up will add to that somewhat more positive view.

astonerii on November 6, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Ed didn’t provide a libertarian view. Ed is in no way, shape, or form, libertarian.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

The logic appears to be that secular laws need to comply with church doctrine, otherwise churches are threatened.

You propose, on the one hand, that states be able to fund contraception if they choose while churches receive an exception. However, you now claim that marriage laws must comply with church law to protect the churches. Why not be consistent on the issue and advocate for strong exceptions for churches with regard to contraception and gay marriage?

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

No – Ed says he’d prefer the state was out of the marriage business but it’s not so he made a secular argument for a state’s interest in traditional marriage (contract law mostly bound up in protecting children). He also pointed out that to the gay lobby gay marriage is a weapon that will (and has) been used to push people out of the public square. The logic is that that state shouldn’t force to citizens – whether members of a religious institution or not – to subsidize the lifestyles of other citizens.

gwelf on November 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

There will soon be cures for homosexuality, and perhaps in-utero detection and prevention. The homosexual generation of today is the last, and will be studied in the future as a genetic curiosity.

slickwillie2001 on November 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

You assume gay is genetic and can be cured.

Frank Enstine on November 6, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Ed didn’t provide a libertarian view. Ed is in no way, shape, or form, libertarian.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Ed did make the libertarian argument. The government shouldn’t be involved in marriage but it is and will continue to be and moves to expand “marriage” will only serve to reduce the liberties of religious people and institutions – “Limited government, and religious liberty.”

Or maybe the only True Scotsman Libertarian arguments require you to first ignore reality and proceed from a purely fantastical view of social and legal reality.

gwelf on November 6, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Laura in MD,

You are aware that the MD law makes gay marriage superior, legally, to man-woman marriage? No tax marriage penalty for them. Are you aware of the movement in Maryland to teach the specifics of gay sex to first graders? Are you aware that a woman was fired from her job of 24 years for the shocking act of signing the petition to put the question on the ballot? So in MD, you are only allowed to have an opinion if it’s a gay opinion? Otherwise the vengeance rule applies.

The state has always been interested in marriage. What its never been interested in is sex or “loving” relationships. It has to do with that “one flesh” thing which has nothing to do with a great sexual experience–and it’s something that even all the great new science can never fix. There is no way two loving men or two loving women can combine their genes to produce a unique human being which carries the traits, the history of each–new flesh, if you will. It has to do with legitimate continuation of a family. Humans figured out early on that dividing land up equally amongst all children pretty much made the land useless for ANYTHING. So, for the sake of safety, survival and to minimize wars, the state was very much interested in marriage.

Oh, and about making sodomy the equivalent of civil rights. Civil rights have to do with artificial barriers to equivalency. Skin color is the most artificial of all barriers. It’s irrational. I fought for equal pay and job opportunity for women, but even I recognize that equality of opportunity is not going to mean equality of results because try as I may, I’ll never be as physically strong as my husband and I was born with a uteras. It’s like affording equal opportunity for the handicapped—no law will make it possible for a bind person to become a fighter pilot. Gays cannot reproduce. There are legal remedies for things like inheritance rights and even naming a significant other as a beneficiary on health care, but debasing marriage–the family—a father and a mother is a terrible path for the future. When gays succeed in destroying the biological rationale for the core of society and community, then what?

Portia46 on November 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM

No – Ed says he’d prefer the state was out of the marriage business but it’s not so he made a secular argument for a state’s interest in traditional marriage (contract law mostly bound up in protecting children). He also pointed out that to the gay lobby gay marriage is a weapon that will (and has) been used to push people out of the public square. The logic is that that state shouldn’t force to citizens – whether members of a religious institution or not – to subsidize the lifestyles of other citizens.

gwelf on November 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

As usual, Ed says one thing and does another, just like the Republicans he supports and the ones he votes for.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Sorry Ed, but I disagree. Voting Yes on this doesn’t actually help anyone but it certainly hurts people. The government shouldn’t make it more difficult for people to legally be together. Any step that continues to to define what we already know is traditional is completely useless and will definitely be seen in the future as wrong. I don’t believe people who are against gay marriage are bigots, but they are most definitely out of touch with where America is heading.

jimsarr on November 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM

So what’s your beef with me?
Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 8:48 AM

TROLLCOTT!!!!!

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 8:50 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Ed didn’t provide a libertarian view. Ed is in no way, shape, or form, libertarian.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Well, there you go making libertarians look ridiculous again. Of course, it takes a libertarian to know a libertarian. Hey, Aren’t you an anarchist? Someone who believes in no government.

astonerii on November 6, 2012 at 10:18 AM

As usual, Ed says one thing and does another, just like the Republicans he supports and the ones he votes for.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Ed has the power to get government out of the marriage business but has chosen not to use that power?

Or there is an amendment or other measure in MN that would get government out of marriage but Ed didn’t vote for it?

gwelf on November 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM

I see, we are trying not to talk to the trolls so that’s why Laura posted at 8:50 AM.
I believe nothing personal was intended.

22044 on November 6, 2012 at 10:22 AM

I see, we are trying not to talk to the trolls so that’s why Laura posted at 8:50 AM. I believe nothing personal was intended. 22044 on November 6, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Calling for me to be “trollcotted” was not personal? I sound whiny so that’s the end of this.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Abosolutely nothing personal intended. That was shorthand for:

Don’t feed the trolls (something I’ve been guilty of all too often). The trollcott instituted by other commenters has been working really well. I have never considered you a troll.

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Ed has the power to get government out of the marriage business but has chosen not to use that power?

Or there is an amendment or other measure in MN that would get government out of marriage but Ed didn’t vote for it?

gwelf on November 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

No, Ed says that he thinks the state shouldn’t be involved in marriage, and then turns around and votes for the state to be involved in marriage, and then makes the argument why government should have an interest in marriage.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 10:26 AM

Oh. You were instructing me to trollcott the troll. Sorry. I’m a MD boy BTW, so I don’t want to be in any snits with MD girls.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Calling for me to be “trollcotted” was not personal? I sound whiny so that’s the end of this.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Dude. You weren’t being call a troll, you were feeding a troll. I’m sorry if it came off wrong. I wouln’t have engaged you if I thought you were a troll.

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

No worries, Hon. I need more caffeine. I’m grumpy and tired, and today is too delicious.

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

There will soon be cures for homosexuality, and perhaps in-utero detection and prevention. The homosexual generation of today is the last, and will be studied in the future as a genetic curiosity.

slickwillie2001 on November 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

The future cure unfortunately for gays will be abortion.

As science finds ways to determine if your child will be gay in the womb, abortion WILL be used to kill the child.

Leftists forget this in their vicious push to force Americans to accept their lifestyle.

KirknBurker on November 6, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Dude. You weren’t being call a troll, you were feeding a troll. I’m sorry if it came off wrong. I wouln’t have engaged you if I thought you were a troll. Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Oh, so Catch 22! Gotcha.

Sorry I misunderstood your advice, I will now take it and not engage trolls all day.


TROLLCOTT!!!

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Endorsing Homosexual relationships as equivalent to Traditional Marriage is cultural suicide.

That is a fact and data from Europe proves it.

We can legislate legal protections for Gay couples and in many states there are such laws.

Corrupting the tradition and purpose of Marriage (religious or civic) to appease 3.5% of a population is both illogical and immoral because it is an irresponsible and distorted application of minority consideration.

The Homosexual lobby tipped their hand when given the legal civil union compromise by refusing this and insisting on changing the definition of marriage and insisting that children in America be taught that Homosexuality is as normal as Heterosexuality…It does not occur as often and those who identify as homosexual represent 3.5% of the general population…It is not conducive to the propagation of a species…it does not bind clans or tribes…it’s subculture often promotes a hedonism and confusion…and most importantly this lobby wants to silence it’s critics.

In our society criticism is free speech.

Let Homosexuals have civil unions in civil courts if that is what states decide but protect those that dissent peacefully.

Religious dissent through constitutional protection of religious liberty in our constitution takes precedence and that is the very protection these secularists seek to undermine.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Thanks hawn!

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Calling for me to be “trollcotted” was not personal? I sound whiny so that’s the end of this.

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Sorry, my post wasn’t too clear. Looks like Laura clarified it. Thanks.

22044 on November 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM

libfreeordie on November 6, 2012 at 9:06 AM

You really are obtuse. CFA involved intimidation because it was the GOVERNMENT who threatened the business for their opinions. The Dixie Chicks exercised free speech and those that boycotted them exercised free enterprise. There is nothing free about government coercion which is exactly what the power that be that support gay marriage are after. Homosexuals are just useful tools.

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 10:37 AM

@Dante on November 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM

So the government has no legitimate interest in business relationships either?

oconp88 on November 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Right now, churches act as agents of the state in conducting weddings. For those who think that a change in definition would not inevitably lead to mandates on churches to “not discriminate” in conducting ceremonies for those relationships which violate their religious doctrines hasn’t been paying attention to the HHS mandate.

But church run hostpitals don’t do abortions and aren’t forced to by the government.
People can get married by other methods than going to a church. I just don’t see government getting involved in religious ceremonies. And as another post said, gays can already adopt so it might make sense to let them marry under the state law so they are legally bound to support the kids they adopt.

As Kinky Friedman said “I am all for gay marriage.I believe gays have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us”

flstc on November 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Obtuse? More like a dumbass.

slickwillie2001 on November 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Thanks hawn!

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Well I’m glad that got resolved amicably. I was about to go get my crossbow!

AsianGirlInTights on November 6, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Good post Ed,

You voted for your states DOMA for the same reason I voted for Ohio’s.

flstc,

As we’ve seen with the HHS mandate, it’s ‘violate your conscience or you can’t participate in the process.’

And that doesn’t count businesses who have owners with religious objections being forced to violate them. (Dave Thomas is spinning in his grave).

The_Livewire on November 6, 2012 at 10:43 AM

Maybe you should read the post and not just the headline.
Ed Morrissey on November 6, 2012 at 9:40 AM

…HA…!!!
.
.
.

NO POLL TROLL TODAY…!!!

KOOLAID2 on November 6, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I just don’t see government getting involved in religious ceremonies.

And yet Europe and Canada a few years ahead of us in recognizing gay marriage are jailing pastors for speaking out against gay marriage. It is just soo cute that people think the end game is legalizing marriage between same sex couples.

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I just don’t see government getting involved in religious ceremonies.

And yet Europe and Canada a few years ahead of us in recognizing gay marriage are jailing pastors for speaking out against gay marriage. It is just soo cute that people think the end game is legalizing marriage between same sex couples.

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Yep. Those that think the gay lobby will stop if they get marriage are too naive to be allowed to vote on it.

slickwillie2001 on November 6, 2012 at 10:48 AM

No – Ed says he’d prefer the state was out of the marriage business but it’s not so he made a secular argument for a state’s interest in traditional marriage (contract law mostly bound up in protecting children).

gwelf on November 6, 2012 at 10:05 AM

His argument doesn’t withstand his first analysis of childless couples. Somehow, he claims, those couples can partake in state subsidies b/c they more closely resemble the “form” of a reproductive couple. The argument seems more apt for a classroom conversation on neoplatonism than civics.
In practice I’d be surprised if Ed believes that marriage, if reduced to its core values, is solely a function of child-bearing. He’s no-doubt aware that couples live longer, healthier lives with greater financial security than single people. If the government chooses to provide tax breaks in pursuit of greater social stability then there is a state interest that extends beyond child bearing.

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Ed–

I worry about allowing a Constitutional Change in your state, simply because it can be turned and abused in the third tenet of your argument.

Ultimately, I’d like to see Government kept out of Church business. As a practicing Catholic, I’m also interested in preserving the sacramentality of marriage. As the State recognizes marriage primarily to benefit the children of such unions, and I see no reason, from a secular standpoint, for the forbiddance of same-sex child-raising couples, I recommend that the State ensure that all couples can raise children and therefore be joined in a state-recognized union.

However, I think that these kinds of laws and amendments can be imposed upon Religious institutions based on anti-discrimination laws. As a function of this, I’d rather have two different recognitions of couplehood by the State and Religious Institutions. The State should allow civil unions for both hetero and homosexual couples, and ascribe rights equally to both. However, Marriage should be exempted, under the Freedom of Religion, from imposition or doctrinal intrusion by the State. As such, only Religious Institutions should be allowed to marry people while at the same time granting Unioned status, whereas people who want to be recognized as a pair outside Religious Institutions can be secularly recognized as a Unioned couple.

By defining secular “marriage” as something wholly different, it prevents the state from using its power to force Religious Institutions to adopt the secular will. It also allows for Institutions to marry people they want without violating the codes of Government.

Nethicus on November 6, 2012 at 10:50 AM

So the government has no legitimate interest in business relationships either?

oconp88 on November 6, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Correct.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM

The only legitimate state interest in otherwise consensual sexual relationships are those whose form could produce offspring.

I strongly disagree. The state has an interest in promoting marriage as the core of a stable economic unit, with or without children. Whether the state should engage in promoting marriage is a separate question, but the claim that it’s all about having children is weak at best–mere rationalization for your desired conclusion.

VerbumSap on November 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

For those who think that a change in definition would not inevitably lead to mandates on churches to “not discriminate” in conducting ceremonies for those relationships which violate their religious doctrines hasn’t been paying attention to the HHS mandate.

The logic appears to be that secular laws need to comply with church doctrine, otherwise churches are threatened.

You propose, on the one hand, that states be able to fund contraception if they choose while churches receive an exception. However, you now claim that marriage laws must comply with church law to protect the churches. Why not be consistent on the issue and advocate for strong exceptions for churches with regard to contraception and gay marriage?

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The function of the state is to legislate and enforce the law…

We will either preserve a balanced state in the execution of those powers or will continue this road to tyranny.

The tension between Church and State is healthy in our society…

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Ed didn’t provide a libertarian view. Ed is in no way, shape, or form, libertarian.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Good, because what we need is more conservatism. Libertarianism is entirely different, and as dangerous as liberalism.

Shump on November 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Interesting handle.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Why not be consistent on the issue and advocate for strong exceptions for churches with regard to contraception and gay marriage?

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Haven’t we been told repeatedly that it’s not possible? In any area where a church is at all involved in something secular, suddenly, it has to conform to whatever the more of the day is. I really don’t see that changing.

Personally, I think it’s time for churches to get out of the marriage business, because that’s more likely than the government relinquishing its hold on that aspect of our private lives, and I don’t see another way for churches to protect their beliefs.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Good, because what we need is more conservatism. Libertarianism is entirely different, and as dangerous as liberalism.

Shump on November 6, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Yes, freedom and liberty are very dangerous things that need to be stamped out!

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

The strong number of conservative voices posting here who disagree with Ed suggests that we may get some very surprising marriage equality results today. I’m hopeful!

libfreeordie on November 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

The only legitimate state interest in otherwise consensual sexual relationships are those whose form could produce offspring.

I strongly disagree. The state has an interest in promoting marriage as the core of a stable economic unit, with or without children. Whether the state should engage in promoting marriage is a separate question, but the claim that it’s all about having children is weak at best–mere rationalization for your desired conclusion

VerbumSap on November 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

And you would be wrong. The state’s ONLY reason to be involved in a sexual relationship(because that is the only difference between other “love” relationship like mother/son etc.) is offspring. And the reason offspring are so important and a stable family environment(functional father and mother) is that if produces future functional taxpayers. This was standard reality until the 1960′s and the radicalization and liberalization of the the left when the government decided it could have more power over the individual by becoming DADDY…

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It is just soo cute that people think the end game is legalizing marriage between same sex couples.

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Kind of how they think the end game is just letting gays serve in the military…
When war heroes return home married to their same sex partner, I tend to see more states changing the definition of marriage.

astonerii on November 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

But church run hostpitals don’t do abortions and aren’t forced to by the government.
People can get married by other methods than going to a church. I just don’t see government getting involved in religious ceremonies. And as another post said, gays can already adopt so it might make sense to let them marry under the state law so they are legally bound to support the kids they adopt.

As Kinky Friedman said “I am all for gay marriage.I believe gays have the right to be as miserable as the rest of us”

flstc on November 6, 2012 at 10:40 AM

The Catholic Church is right now in the process of suing the federal government re the government’s mandate that they DO require they pay for abortions (day after pill is an abortion pill). The state of Mass has shut down Catholic adoption services because they wouldn’t accomodate homosexual adoption. A cake maker in Ohio is being sued because she won’t make homosexual wedding cakes because the act of sodomy is repugnant to her religious beliefs. A wedding chapel (can’t remember the state) is being shut down because they won’t rent their facilities for homosexual “marriages”.

And IF two people of any sex adopts a child, they will be required to support that child regardless of marital status. That’s part of the adoption process, not the marriage process.

Portia46 on November 6, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Yes, freedom and liberty are very dangerous things that need to be stamped out!

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

As history shows, groups of people not joined by governments are easy targets for those who do. Thus it is proven that anarchist groups are immoral in that they do not well defend their rights. They may remain free only so long as more powerful groups do not see them as valuable, or see them at all.

astonerii on November 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Akzed on November 6, 2012 at 10:25 AM

22044 on November 6, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Cheers, hawns! It’s a beautiful day for VICTORY!

Laura in Maryland on November 6, 2012 at 11:06 AM

He’s no-doubt aware that couples live longer, healthier lives with greater financial security than single people. If the government chooses to provide tax breaks in pursuit of greater social stability then there is a state interest that extends beyond child bearing.

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 10:49 AM </blockquotee

Yeah because my husband and I have stayed together for 21 years because of the piece of paper the government gave us and the iffy tax breaks we may or may not get.

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Personally, I think it’s time for churches to get out of the marriage business, because that’s more likely than the government relinquishing its hold on that aspect of our private lives, and I don’t see another way for churches to protect their beliefs.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Ahhhh…churches should give up their second most sacred mass because that’s the only way ya’ll will let them exist? After that will they also be required to give up the Eucharist?

This is the end game folks. Exactly what the Communist Party did in Russia, and look how well that worked out.

Portia46 on November 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Sorry mate!
I didn’t really understand Ed’s post either, so I googled a couple of links to review the Marriage Amendment. :)

22044 on November 6, 2012 at 9:45 AM

I read it, too-as much as my ADD will allow-and I didn’t understand it either.

davidk on November 6, 2012 at 11:10 AM

The best way to protect the church’s right to sanctify the church’s definition of marriage is to make ALL legal unions civil, first. That takes care of all of the government issues regarding why the government even cares there is a union of any sort. So it would work like this – 2 people want to “marry”, they go get a license. Once they both sign that license, they are “married” in the eyes of the government, period. They file that license with the government entity and thus, they have their union “protected” for whatever rights they are attempting to achieve.

That way all 2 people unions are treated the same.

However, MARRIAGE is up to the church. Each church has the right to conduct a church, religious ceremony uniting the civil union in the church for church recognition of the holy state of matrimony. The church’s are immune from lawsuits from any 2 people in a civil union forcing that church to “marry” them.

Back in the day, if you didn’t convert to catholicism, priests would refuse to marry a heterosexual couple. Dunno what the rules are today.

Personally, I think once we redefine “marriage” as anything other than ONE man and ONE woman, we have a very slippery slope. Why stop at 2 females and 2 males having the right to marry each other? If 2 women can marry, or 2 men can marry, why are we restricting official recognition of civil unions or marriage to TWO people? Seems to me, people who want to practice polygamy and have it be recognized by the state, have a legitimate gripe about being discriminated, too.

While I recognize that the state has a right to be concerned about how many children a polygamist family can support on their own without getting aid from the government, this doesn’t seem to matter when unmarried men have many different baby mamas that all are on the dole.

This issue is very murky and once the official recognition of marriage ends from just one man and one woman, an entire pandora’s box is open, all to the detriment of society, ultimately.

karenhasfreedom on November 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

“The love that dare not speak its name” now can’t keep its hectoring mouth shut.

Mason on November 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I’m voting NO today for both amendments. Voter ID is a no brainer and the marriage amendment is, unfortunately, the best chance to keep marriage sacred here in MN at least. Did you know that there has never been a moral leader of any magnitude in the history of the world who approved of same sex marriage?

TeaTrekkie on November 6, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Based on your stated reasoning, you should be voting YES on both amendments. A NO vote would be against voter ID and against constitutionally codifying marriage between man and woman.

I voted this AM. The polls at my little Northern MN township were quite busy, but they always are. My conscience is clear and I’m proud to have exercised my franchise once again. God bless America.

AScott on November 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

I voted against gay marriage in NC just because I think it’s another slight intrusion by the government where they shouldn’t already be. – the author’s second point

If I try to explain that to people, I get blank faces….

michaelthomas on November 6, 2012 at 11:16 AM

The strong number of conservative voices posting here who disagree with Ed suggests that we may get some very surprising marriage equality results today. I’m hopeful!

libfreeordie on November 6, 2012 at 11:03 AM

It’s not equality. It’s just allowing one more group into government recognition of a personal relationship. Yay! Progress!

Maybe eventually we’ll stop sending people to jail for being more taboo in their relationships.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:17 AM

melle1228 on November 6, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Restating the claim doesn’t show that I’m wrong; only that we disagree. Dysfunctional families predate the push for gay marriage, btw.

VerbumSap on November 6, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I’m still getting over Doogie being gay.

tomas on November 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM

There was a study that said Lesbian Moms are better for teenagers.

tomas on November 6, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Haven’t we been told repeatedly that it’s not possible? In any area where a church is at all involved in something secular, suddenly, it has to conform to whatever the more of the day is. I really don’t see that changing.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

That seems to be the point. If the church is involved in something secular it needs to conform to secular laws. (e.g., follow building codes when building the church but have little interference from the state on the content of their creed).

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Ahhhh…churches should give up their second most sacred mass because that’s the only way ya’ll will let them exist? After that will they also be required to give up the Eucharist?

This is the end game folks. Exactly what the Communist Party did in Russia, and look how well that worked out.

Portia46 on November 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Yes, I’m a Communist or whatever, not a Christian who’s fed up with the whole thing and can see the writing on the wall.

Please, tell me more how persecuted you are.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:21 AM

The only legitimate state interest in otherwise consensual sexual relationships are those whose form could produce offspring.

I strongly disagree. The state has an interest in promoting marriage as the core of a stable economic unit, with or without children. Whether the state should engage in promoting marriage is a separate question, but the claim that it’s all about having children is weak at best–mere rationalization for your desired conclusion.

VerbumSap on November 6, 2012 at 10:53 AM

The Traditional Role of marriage is to bind through contract clans and tribes with the hope of inheritors to continue clans and the binding of tribes.

These inheritance laws were enforced by the state to provide civil stability and continuity. They have evolved in execution but they remain mostly intact in principle.

So for example Bastards can now seek a share of inheritance…This does not change the traditional definition of a bastard = child born outside the marriage contract…nor do these mechanisms of law make bastards legitimate because they are still illegitimate outside the marriage contract. They are granted access to argue their case for inclusion of inheritance before a judge and this promotes the judicial role of stability of clans and tribes in property transfer.

Currently the state recognizing that some people whether they choose contractual responsibility or illegitimacy in a stable monetary support for children assigns and enforces that support. This doesn’t change or alter the definition of parental responsibility that is still grounded in the binding of clans and tribes to promote stability.

In our current system of moral relativism there are advocates who seek to overturn common sense destabilize the traditional role of responsible governance at the expense of our society. Their mechanism is to alter definitions.

A confused man can spend a lot of money to mutilate his body and pretend he has become a female…This does not change the fact that he is not a natural born female, yet these people expect the state to alter the definition of what is female in order to extend their flattery at the expense and degradation of natural females.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:21 AM

That seems to be the point. If the church is involved in something secular it needs to conform to secular laws. (e.g., follow building codes when building the church but have little interference from the state on the content of their creed).

dedalus on November 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

That line seems to be disappearing. And Ed makes a decent point. Marriage is a state function, very secular. Why shouldn’t the state be able to tell churches what to do on this issue?

And frankly, with a tax exempt status, I would assume churches are actually in the position of owing the government something. Why shouldn’t their tax exempt status be threatened if they discriminate and let’s say only hire male preachers or only hetero preachers?

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM

No, Ed says that he thinks the state shouldn’t be involved in marriage, and then turns around and votes for the state to be involved in marriage, and then makes the argument why government should have an interest in marriage.

Dante on November 6, 2012 at 10:28 A

The marriage amendment changes no MN marriage law, it only reaffirms it and prevents the state (legislature or judiciary) from changing it.

Dasher on November 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Personally, I think it’s time for churches to get out of the marriage business, because that’s more likely than the government relinquishing its hold on that aspect of our private lives, and I don’t see another way for churches to protect their beliefs.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

So you advocate a state sponsored change in the definition and function of churches in a stable society?

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Ahhhh…churches should give up their second most sacred mass because that’s the only way ya’ll will let them exist? After that will they also be required to give up the Eucharist?

This is the end game folks. Exactly what the Communist Party did in Russia, and look how well that worked out.

Portia46 on November 6, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Yes, I’m a Communist or whatever, not a Christian who’s fed up with the whole thing and can see the writing on the wall.

Please, tell me more how persecuted you are.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Anarchy is not the answer.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Sorry Ed, but I disagree. Voting Yes on this doesn’t actually help anyone but it certainly hurts people. The government shouldn’t make it more difficult for people to legally be together.
jimsarr on November 6, 2012 at 10:14 AM

People can be legally together as much as they want already.

whatcat on November 6, 2012 at 11:36 AM

The marriage amendment changes no MN marriage law, it only reaffirms it and prevents the state (legislature or judiciary) from changing it.
Dasher on November 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Yup.

whatcat on November 6, 2012 at 11:37 AM

So you advocate a state sponsored change in the definition and function of churches in a stable society?

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:31 AM

No. I simply think churches should start protecting themselves and stop assuming our rights will continue to be protected by the government, just as some Catholic hospitals are already learning.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM

And frankly, with a tax exempt status, I would assume churches are actually in the position of owing the government something. Why shouldn’t their tax exempt status be threatened if they discriminate and let’s say only hire male preachers or only hetero preachers?

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:27 AM

You advocate the overturning of Constitutional Protection of Religious Liberty to satisfy your agenda.

America is not Europe.

The State cannot etablish a national religion.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Anarchy is not the answer.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Nor was it mine.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM

karenhasfreedom on November 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

I said the exact same thing about 10 posts above you! Great minds think alike.

Nethicus on November 6, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Ed, you disregard what happens in states and countries where gay marriage is legalized by the courts or legislature. Homosexual lifestyle has been taught to elementary school kids without parental consent. Christian business owners have been sued for not wishing to cater or handle photography at gay weddings. Christian innkeepers in Vermont and Illinois have been sued over their refusal to make their facilities available. In Canada several people have been fined for supporting traditional marriage. Several pastors and priests and others have been charged with hate speech in Canada for supporting traditional marriage. Remember Chick-fil-A! In Europe a pastor was jailed for preaching about the Bible definition of marriage. Leaders in DC, Chicago and Boston have said there is no place in their city for those who speak out against gay marriage.

Now add all sociological benefits of traditional marriage vs. gay marriage which as I recall have even been posted on HA and your vote for freedom seems misguided. The 3% are going to take freedom from the majority. I pray that many people in MN cancel your vote out. And I pray that MD where I’m currently located is not the first state that votes against traditional marriage.

Christian Conservative on November 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

You advocate the overturning of Constitutional Protection of Religious Liberty to satisfy your agenda.

America is not Europe.

The State cannot etablish a national religion.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:39 AM

You advocate putting words in peoples’ mouths cause you have no idea what they’re talking about.

Try someone else. I’m in no mood today. This is as charitable towards you as I can be.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I’ve written before that I think government would do best to stay out of marriage altogether, and leave it to the churches. That would be the best possible solution in a perfect libertarian world.
-Ed

I completely agree with that. I only wish you could be consistent with that view – for here you seem to be saying that where the govt does insert itself, you support it holding a discriminatory position.
Heterosexual married couples both produce and do not produce offspring. And non-married heterosexual couples both produce and do not produce offspring.
Just a very poor argument. I think you’ve tried too hard to rationalize your vote here.
Based on your professed beliefs and philosophy, you made the wrong choice with your vote.

verbaluce on November 6, 2012 at 11:45 AM

And the conservatives spent their time attending to the definition of “marriage” while both parties spent the nation into destruction.

GOOD JOB ED!

HondaV65 on November 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM

No. I simply think churches should start protecting themselves and stop assuming our rights will continue to be protected by the government, just as some Catholic hospitals are already learning.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Obama’s administration and his leftist cohorts in congress seek to change the definition of religious practice by circumventing constitutional protections of religious affiliation of institutions to undermine and change the definition of the traditional tension through dissent between church and state.

That is the goal…The modern model is Europe…The ancient model is Rome.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Try someone else. I’m in no mood today. This is as charitable towards you as I can be.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Your words as written are what they are & so is your argument.

I’m sorry about your mood…but your mood doesn’t make your argument any less fallacious.

I’m just responding to tenets you put forth…comment threads allow for that.

Have a nice day

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I’ve written before that I think government would do best to stay out of marriage altogether, and leave it to the churches. That would be the best possible solution in a perfect libertarian world.

Sorry Ed, but the real reason governments should be involved in marriage is because it is historical data that is invaluable, hundreds of years later.

The collection of data from government instruments, marriage, taxes, fines, imprisonment, that all is valuable data for future generations.

How do you track genealogy, how do you track who owns what, without records of who is legally tied to those assets?

The government is the retainer of all things historical, they are the historical record keeper, and perhaps the most important job they have…to keep track of who owns what, who belongs to whom…

right2bright on November 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

The_Livewire

I also voted for the Ohio DOMA. I figure it will eventually end up at the supreme court though.

flstc on November 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I voted for a similar same-sex marriage type amendment here in MD. I wasn’t going to, but I read through it, and changed my mind. What made me change my mind is that they put in parts specifically to protect religious beliefs on “marriage”. The vote was for “civil marriages” which religious leaders do NOT have to perform if it is against their religious beliefs. So, gay couples can go to a court and get a “civil marriage” which I take as “civil union”, but cannot force their pastor/church to perform a ceremony for them if it is against the religious beliefs of a religion. I do approve of this.

Highlar on November 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

The ancient model is Rome.

workingclass artist on November 6, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Where we thrived despite being eaten by lions and used as street lights.

The government is not your protector.

Esthier on November 6, 2012 at 11:56 AM

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