Limiting the same-sex debate

The marriage amendment would limit debate on a developing and irresolute issue.

Daily Editorial Board

This November marks an important time in the intellectual discourse of Minnesota. This election season voters will decide the fate of an amendment banning same-sex marriage in our state. If amended, Minnesota would join the other 31 states with some level of constitutional ban on same-sex unions.

In Minnesota, 13 cities including Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth have passed resolutions publicly opposing the amendment. Despite this, 52 percent of Americans support marriage rights for the LGBT population — up from 46 percent since 2009. According to a poll done by Public Policy Polling in June, 49 percent of Minnesota voters oppose the amendment, while 43 percent favor it — compared to 48 and 44 percent from this January.

Clearly this issue is highly contentious amongst local voters, something the government should take notice of. Being such a highly controversial and inconclusive issue, there should be proper dialogue between all sides of the debate, as the amendment will eliminate any room for discussion on same-sex marriage if passed. Minnesota  law requires a 50 percent “yes” vote, yet the amendment would be particularly difficult to get rid of if amended to the state constitution.

The voters in Minnesota have an obligation to make an informed and responsible decision on this highly important and developing issue. There should be an open debate on the issue that carefully weighs out the pros and cons of marriage equality. A decision that determines the potential future of same-sex couples should not be rushed just because of the nearing election.