Macalester College opposes marriage amendment

Categories: GLBT
Old Main at Macalester College

Last weekend, after weeks of uproar from students and community members, Macalester College publicly announced its opposition to the proposed Minnesota marriage amendment.

Macalester is LGBT friendly after all, says Campus Pride Index

The Macalester College Board of Trustees voted over the weekend about the school's public stance on the Minnesota marriage amendment. The Board released this statement on October 6:

The Macalester College Board of Trustees unanimously expresses its opposition to the proposed Minnesota marriage amendment. The Board feels that this amendment denies basic human dignity and rights to our citizens. Such a denial is antithetical to the mission of the college.

The Board's decision comes after several weeks of disapproval from numerous students and alumni after news of Hamline University's neutral position on the amendment.

Michael Halpern, Macalester Class of 1999, spearheaded a petition to rally Macalester students, alumni, staff, and community members to speak their minds about the school's stance on the marriage amendment.

Foreign correspondent for The Mac Weekly, Macalester's student-run news publication, Jonathan McJunkin wrote an open letter to President Rosenberg regarding the marriage amendment. Included in his impassioned editorial published on October 5, McJunkin cited Hamline's neutrality as a negative mark on that institution's standing in the community:

There is no true neutrality; neutrality is a vote for the status quo. To paraphrase local poet Guante, in the real world quiet disapproval is the same as quiet approval. Look around, President Rosenberg. Do you want to make Macalester's statement on equality "things are fine the way they are?"

McJunkin continued, voicing the same sentiment that some Macalester students feel about the school publicly stating its beliefs about same-sex marriage:

We as an institution cannot sit this one out with a clear conscience--and the election is a month away. Let us keep in mind what this amendment actually is. It does not change the illegality of same-sex marriages in Minnesota, or the legal­ity of same-sex couple adoptions, or anything tangible at all. Beyond all the rhetoric, its passage would only do one thing: send a message that LGBT Minnesotans and their couples, their families, are lesser.

Halpern sent along the link to the petition before the Board's weekend vote. The petition had garnered more than 1,200 signatures which clocks in at more than 60 percent of Macalester's student body.

Considering Macalester's newly-minted status as a five-star LGBT-friendly campus by Campus Pride Index, the school's position on same-sex marriage now aligns with its reputation as a safe-haven for LGBT students.

Let's see if the remaining ACTC schools declare their position on the amendment. The current count stands at two votes no from Macalester and Augsburg, with Hamline staying out of the matter. Your move, St. Thomas and St. Kate's.

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