Council wise to passPublished 10:35am Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Austin City Council members were correct earlier this month when they passed up an opportunity to take a stand on Minnesota’s controversial marriage amendment. There’s clearly no reason for a city council — any city council — to be involved in this issue.
Perhaps no election issue has generated more interest or controversy than this year’s question of whether the state constitution should be amended to include a definition of marriage as being only between one man and one woman. It seems that almost everyone has an opinion on the question, including some of Minnesota’s largest corporations and some of its city councils.
Austin’s council was asked to sign on to a measure opposing the amendment but never advanced the measure beyond brief discussion at a work session. That was the right course to take for a couple of reasons. Not only does the council have no standing in the debate, it surely has more important work than becoming needlessly embroiled in controversy. Nor, or course, is there reason to believe that government involvement in social engineering is ever effective on any side of an issue.
While there are a handful of city councils around the state that have taken a position on the marriage amendment, Austin’s was wise to stay on the sidelines.