63 U of M law profs deride proposed gay marriage ban amendment

Categories: GLBT
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thekenyeung
Minnesota already bans gay marriage.
Legislators are supposed to legislate, 63 current and former University of Minnesota law professors say today in an open letter to state lawmakers seeking a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Lawmakers are not supposed to treat the state constitution as a substitute for enacting a law, and the profs argue that "it is an evasion to say that the proposed amendment should be placed on the ballot simply to allow a popular vote."

In its 153 years of statehood, Minnesota has enacted many changes in the practice and law of marriage, and in family-related topics like divorce and adoption. Many of these changes have been controversial and have generated considerable debate in the state legislature and among the public. Minnesotans of good will may continue to debate the merits of legally recognizing same-sex couples through marriage or some other status. But in its entire history, Minnesota has never cut short the ordinary legislative process regarding marriage and family law by enshrining one particular view into its constitution. There is no compelling need to do so now.

The Republicans in control of the Legislature aren't listening.

Nor are their allies at the Minnesota Family Council, despite the fact that gay marriage is already banned in Minnesota:

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The Minnesota Family Council announced a $4.7 million campaign in January to push for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
The people of Minnesota overwhelmingly believe the people of Minnesota should decide the marriage issue--not the courts or legislature. The institution of marriage predates government and has served as the foundation of society for thousands of years. If marriage is to be redefined, it should only be society, speaking through the electorate who makes this decision. Last year, several bills were introduced to legalize same-sex marriage in the Minnesota legislature. The only way to protect marriage is with a state constitutional amendment.

The bill passed the the House Civil Law Committee on Monday with a 10-7 party-line vote, and passed the Ways and Means committee yesterday on a voice vote.

They didn't even call the role.

Read the letter from the law professors here.

Previously:


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9 comments
Porkpie
Porkpie

This is an argument we've heard a thousand times - "why should you have special, extra rights that other people don't have?" In this particular case, that argument has no validity for the following reason: All people have the right to get married if they want to do so already. Sooo... recognizing the right of us gay people to marry our loved ones is neither new nor special; rather, it is restoring the normal, un-specialness. To wit: gay people don't want to be a special class of people with extra, special rights: we want to be treated as ordinary people with all the ordinary rights that the law guarantees us. The right to marry is one of those.

Johnny
Johnny

Discrimination is ugly, wholly agreed. But it's not as ugly as manipulating the system to create protected classes that enjoy 'better' rights and protections than any other majority/minority group.

Porkpie
Porkpie

Gay people are here to stay, and we're just as entitled to equal protection under the law as any other citizens. Discrimination is ugly, hate is ugly, and no-one should confuse this sideshow from the republican legislators as anything other than an appeal to the basest urges of hate and discrimination in their constituents.

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Allowing the PEOPLE to decide on whether or not this should be inserted into our State Constitution? What could be more democratic than that?Perhaps these professors would prefer to be ruled by the iron fist of the government with no input from the voter. See, I think this is a assault on their regular way of dick tickling under the table inside their closed groups to get things done.

Need I remind you that the "Legasy Act" was a constitutional amendment that takes from all to give to a few like an author who was paid ten of thousands of dollars so he could appear at a library for a couple hours? Where is the outcry when this was put before the voter?

Johnny
Johnny

The day I see a Gay Rights rally and legislative lobbying to void things like hate speech, workplace preference, and 'sensitivity training' laws is the day I believe in any of that. I'll be the first in line to contribute both $$ and volunteer hours to any and all efforts to re-level the playing field if only the 'protected classes' would give up their perks.

Anon
Anon

Johnny, you are a protected class. Nobody can fire you for being heterosexual. Nobody can fire you because you are a Christian. Nobody can fire you for being white. If you read the Human Rights Act you will see that the protected classes are Race, not black, latino, etc., and Sexual Orientation, not homosexual. You're just as protected as anyone else. Nobody has special rights.

circeherbivora
circeherbivora

Well, we know Johnny is a little on the dramatic side...but I don't think that's a protected class. Look, a black guy beating the crap out of a white kid and screaming at him about his disgusting pasty white skin, calling him cracker and asking him if he thinks he's special...yep, that's going to jack up the sentencing on an aggravated assault case. I don't have a problem with that. I'm not sure why you do.

Johnny
Johnny

You have no idea whay my race, gender, or gender preferences are.

It says a lot about YOU that you auto-assume that I am white-hetro because I hold that protected classes and special laws to enhance other crimes are an abomination.

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