To the editor:
Recently, a contributor to these pages wrote that the government shouldn't take away the right to marry.
1) In fact, Minnesota Law already prevents marriage between same-sex individuals. The Marriage Amendment on the ballot will not change the law. Rather, it is our laws regarding marriage as between one man and one woman that are threatened by a suit currently on file. This lawsuit is expected to be decided in January; it is very similar to the Varnum v. Brien case which re-defined marriage in Iowa.
2) The Marriage Amendment is thus a defense of existing law. Failing to pass the amendment means that our laws regarding marriage will likely be rewritten by a few judges and lawyers, not by the people. Furthermore, the redefinition of marriage in other states has resulted in startling consequences; I encourage readers to learn about them.
3) If same-sex marriage were legalized in Minnesota, couldn't we then amend the Constitution to reestablish natural marriage? This was attempted in California. After same-sex marriage was legalized by the California Supreme Court ("In re Marriage Cases," 2008), voters attempted to restore the natural understanding of marriage via Proposition 8. The amendment was successful. However, it was challenged in Federal court (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) and subsequently lost on appeal, with the three-judge panel ruling that having once allowed same-sex marriage, it was unconstitutional for California to reverse its existing law.