Sunday, August 5, 2012

No Faith Should Be Able to Impose Marriage Policies

By Barbara Stark

Note: The following was first published August 5, 2012 as a letter to the editor of the Duluth News Tribune.

[Frank Schuber is] an out-of-state political consultant [who] has come to Minnesota to further what he calls his “personal crusade:” to pass a constitutional amendment to limit the freedom to marry in Minnesota. He has come to town to impose the policies of one faith — his faith — on everyone. That is not how our secular society is supposed to work.

The marriage amendment on the November ballot is simple. It will limit the freedom to marry, and it is a bad idea.

We all understand commitments. Our commitments to each other and to our families are the building blocks of our society. Commitment means taking care of one another, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. In fundamental ways, taking care of each other requires our commitments have legal standing. We need to be sure that if we purchase a house and make a home together it will continue to be a home for our loved ones after we pass away. We need to be sure we can arrange for insurance coverage for our loved ones. We need to be sure our pension plans will cover our loved ones.

Commitments are personal, but they have practical consequences. When individuals make deep commitments to each other and want to care for each other, they should be encouraged. The marriage amendment will stand in the way of the most important commitment of all — marriage — for many Minnesotans.

No faith group should be permitted to impose its particular views of commitment on the entire community.

Do not limit the freedom to marry.

I plan to vote “no” on the marriage amendment in November.

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