Re-think marriage amendment

Published 10:18 am Friday, September 21, 2012

By Kathy Bartemes


In response to the upcoming vote on the Marriage Amendment, one of the local Catholic churches held a program on marriage Sunday, Sept. 16. Included in this program will be a discussion of the legal consequences, presumably as they affected the Catholic Church, of allowing gay marriage. Perhaps this is a good time to remind voters of two important facts.

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First, gay marriage is currently not legal in the state of Minnesota. Whether or not the Marriage Amendment passes, that will not change. If the amendment passes, it will become harder to change current law, but failure of the amendment to pass won’t change the current law.

Secondly, this issue, or any other, needs to be considered based on its own merits. Just as the issue of slavery was decided on the basis of the rights of those enslaved and not on the legal consequences to merchants who might trade in slaves, this issue should be decided on the basis of the rights of those who wish to marry and not on the legal consequences for outside organizations such as the Catholic church.

Correction: A previous version of this letter incorrectly assumed the marriage discussion Ms. Bartemes mentioned was held Sunday, Sept. 30. She in fact was referring to a Sept. 16 program at St. Augustine Catholic Church. The Herald regrets this error.