Our view: Marriage amendment is just wrong

2012-10-28T00:00:00Z 2013-03-13T18:45:00Z Our view: Marriage amendment is just wrong Winona Daily News
October 28, 2012 12:00 am

We’re tired.

If we’re tired, we can’t imagine how weary gay and lesbian folks are. Can’t imagine, really, how they’re still on their feet.

All this fighting after a lifetime of fighting they never asked for, never deserved.

Good for them to stand up.

Shame on us for making them.

There’s not much left to say about the proposed gay marriage constitutional amendment, other than to clear up any lingering confusion. Remember: A “no” vote on the ballot is a “yes” vote for human rights.

Any legislation that categorically denies rights to a group of people is wrong.

Writing it into the state’s constitution is that much worse.

Trying to write it into the state’s constitution when it’s already law is worse yet, a colossal waste of time and money that could have been spent in a blue million productive ways.

Could have fixed the state’s roads, the schools, the economy, the housing market, and sent a space pod to Mars.

Instead we burned it all on hating and fighting that hate. We squinted our eyes and shut our doors to those opening both wide.

Shame on us.

We hope this thing doesn’t pass. Polls say it’s close. But polls mask bigotry.

Maybe that’s a start, that gay people are coming out of the closet while bigots are headed in.

If the amendment passes, nothing changes. Nothing. It just means we’ve forced gay and lesbian folks into suffering another unimaginably brutal fight.

They’ll stand up.

Good for them.

Shame on us.

Copyright 2015 Winona Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(36) Comments

  1. Don Evanson
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    Don Evanson - November 02, 2012 11:26 am
    To the Editor,

    It takes an overweening degree of self-esteem – arrogance and hubris come to mind, but I suppose that there are redundancies in all of that – on the part of the editorial committee of the Winona Daily News (Our View, Oct. 28) and its member’s personal column, Jerome Christenson (0ct. 24,) to be implying that anyone that supports the common law definition of marriage is a bigot.

    The Committee itself has devolved into a committee of bigots, fostering bigotry.

    The Committee’s intolerance of the views of others, some of which are based upon religious beliefs, shatters the First Amendment rights of all citizens. One would think that members of the press would have more respect for the First Amendment, but I suppose that is too much to expect of those that give knee-jerk support to regressive “progressivism.”

    Readers would better benefit from the work of reasoned columnists such as Dennis Prager. His column of October 30, Why a Good Person Can Vote against Same-Sex Marriage, gets us beyond lightweight opinion. http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/332031/why-good-person-can-vote-against-same-sex-marriage-dennis-prager?pg=1

    There is nothing about the common law definition of marriage that represents discrimination, since everyone is free to contract as they like. The civil law marriage contract is a contract between those of different genders. For those of the same gender that want to enter into a union, they are free to enter into a civil law contract for same-sex unions. If those of that inclination want to lobby for same-sex contract benefits that are equivalent to those of a marriage contract, go for it. It’s a free country. Let’s keep it that way.
  2. Hive
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    Hive - October 30, 2012 2:47 pm
    K, you missed the "you" before the "think its a sin" Heck I don't sin, I do not poop either... :}

    I will go along that polygamy was trashed, but was is a custom?

    Isn't different than what one is born with?

    We are after the same things, I think, let's just not hurt anyone while we seek them...seems best way, doncha think?

    I have peeves, but when they get in the way of others, the peeves get a review and often get the boot.
  3. sparky
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    sparky - October 29, 2012 11:54 pm
    Your entire comment is very conflicting. Your grandchildren will "decide for themselves" after being kept in a bubble where same sex couples do not exist, and there is only one Presidential Candidate? What's wrong with teaching kids acceptance by reading Heather has two mommies? If you don't care what the 50 year old gay couple down the street does, then why not vote no and allow them to someday be married? Afterall when your grandchldren are "old enough to decide for themselves", what if they DO make that decision. Do you want them to be discriminated against? Or will you love them anyway.... and wish they had the same civil rights as you do.
  4. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 29, 2012 5:30 pm
    So the church is as vindictive (although more considerate) as a King or a Duke? At any rate, I didn't mention anything about Galileo's "punishment." My point was the change of heart of the church with respect to the scientific questions Galileo posed. That change will happen in this instance - as it has in the past.

    In the meantime, I hope there are not too many gay Galileos that will have to pay the price for the Church's misdirection and vindictive response.
  5. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 29, 2012 5:22 pm
    To your question: Yes I would be upset! I've stated so in response to similar questions posed by others. Do you find that so hard to believe?

    As to the prayer, it is what it is - and you cannot see it. Too bad...

    P.S. Land Stewardship Project
  6. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 29, 2012 11:24 am
    Hive,
    my old friend. Wither a law, Supreme Court ruling or amendment, the result were the same, polygamy "rights" were taken off the table.

    Speaking of religious texts, I see you are bringing sin into the discussion. And I thought these things mean nothing. Sort of speaking with "forked tongue", man whose ancestors came from across the great water.
  7. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 29, 2012 11:10 am
    You mean a new Bishop came in, an told CC to enforce Biblical teaching on the subject at hand.

    Also, one may ask why the Mass. law didn't have a part for the "free exercise of religion". So one could say that the law brought on the conflict, not the Church. Remember, amendments are not final, they can & have been repealed.

    You might read the Galileo incident someday. In those days one did not make fun of people in power ( kings, nobles & Popes). You might note that the Pope was a supporter of Galileo, until his play came out. Had Galileo ridiculed a king or duke, he may have literally been in hot water.
  8. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 29, 2012 10:44 am
    Leslie,
    "What does THAT mean?". Just give it a little thought.

    However, I wonder if you would be upset with the Bishop, were he using the same methods, & was speaking up for a issue you were pro on?

    With your deep knowledge of doctrine, perhaps you might enlighten the ignorant on what part of the prayer is "indoctrination"? And if it's about the amendment, so what? Or would you like the Bishop to go to the back of the bus & keep quiet? Or would you go to S. Chicago, & tell a pastor to keep quiet on politics?


    P.S. Would you please enlighten me with what LSP means, I might take it for Left Speaking Person?

  9. killallthelawyersfirst
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    killallthelawyersfirst - October 29, 2012 7:02 am
    Mr. Khansky, you are right about the difference between law and amendment, but the rest is gobbledegook. There is a difference between a custom and a discriminatory action, and the courts have so noted, often.The bishop can say what he wishes, but he should pay for that freedom, as do the rest of us.
  10. Hive
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    Hive - October 29, 2012 6:53 am
    As Obvious Oracle notes, those of you who actually read all these notes, we witness exactly what is wrong with the mix of religion and government right here, but, then, what else can be expected from closed or special interest-leaning minds...?

    The ID change is costly, but this mistaken end run around Dayton is plain wrong, discriminatory and, in point of fact, evil, on its face.

    To wit, JF quotes or looks to a religious text to offer argument, when that text or those ideas mean nothing to Muslim, Nones, and so on?

    K does exactly the same things.

    What, pray tell, is "bad?" How are polygamy and same sex unions the same? The parallel is false. Polygamy is a practice, the MN amendment is a discrimination.

    Add Hive (+1) to Montee, Les, Katie, Steber and Oracle and those who see what is going on here and call it. I have already voted.

    Leave it blank, you think voting no is a sin. There are people involved here.
  11. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 29, 2012 6:14 am
    I notice that Catholic Charities had no problem placing children with same-sex couples. Again, it was the misplaced opinions of the bishops that spoiled this scenerio. Catholic Charities plays in the public square. As such, it is subject to different expectations than the priests in in churches performing religious rituals. Show me the evidence that the two are connected.

    Also, Massachusetts did this through legislation - not an amendment. Thus, the answers are not final (As the newspaper article itself acknowledges). Answers defined by laws are always subject to change and improvement. Who knows? Perhaps Catholic Charities in Massachusetts will one day be back in the adoption business - even with same-sex marriage.

    The Church is an old organization. It measures time in centuries. It can afford to be patient but it can also change - although slowly. My guess is that the Church will someday come around - as it did in Galileo's time.
  12. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 29, 2012 5:52 am
    "[C]lose to an amendment." What does THAT mean?

    I am not denying anybody anything. Rather, I am advocating voting "no" on this amendment so as not to deny a class of people a right to participate in our society as equals.

    As far as the bishops are concerned, if Bishop Quinn, for instance, had limited his financial involvement to "speaking out" in the Courier, we would not be having this discussion. The Church is not merely speaking out. The Church is indoctrinating; even using the "big threat" (putting your soul at risk, if you vote wrong). The prayer that you imply is so benign is in fact a form of such indoctrination - its use at each mass at this time is not coincidental. Everyone that I have talked with about this subject - including those who are "with" the Church (except you) - is willing to acknowledge its purpose.

    Question: WRT the LSP issue - How is that not "throwing their weight around?"
  13. Monteee
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    Monteee - October 29, 2012 2:19 am
    YES, the Supreme Court justices who outlawed plural marriage were "bad". There is no valid reason for the outlawing of plural marriage. The U.S. did take away the rights of Mormons. Hopefully, this "bad" law will be repealed one day.
  14. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 28, 2012 10:40 pm
    Monteee,
    were the Supreme Court Justices, that ruled polygamy was against the law "bad"? After all they took away the "rights" of Mormons. And so the bigamy laws are constitutional, & on the books.
  15. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 28, 2012 10:16 pm

    Leslie,
    yes, there is a technical difference between a law & amendment. Both can be changes by a legislature (law), and in some cases by the people . However the primary difference is that amendments for all practical purposes, bypass judges. Although judges may interpret amendments.

    In the case of the Mormons, with the US supreme Court weighing in, it's pretty close to an amendment. This happened in 1879, when the Supreme Court upheld the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act in Reynolds v. United States, & for all practical purposes denied people, the right to more then one marriage partner at a time.

    I could almost say your quibbling. After all, doesn't the governmental system allow amendments? Would you deny the people that option? Should not the people be the final arbitrators.

    And as far as referring to the Catholic archbishop & bishops "throwing their weight around". Since you say you are a "practicing" Catholic, didn't St. Paul say a bishop must speak out for the beliefs?
  16. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 28, 2012 8:47 pm
    Sexuality is not a "decision." Rather it is a reality. One that gays and lesbians have a VERY difficult time facing.
  17. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 28, 2012 8:46 pm
    "Does thast make any sense?" - No!
  18. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 28, 2012 8:43 pm
    Re the Mormons - no constitutional amendments that I know of.

    The archbishop is doing much more than his job. He and all bishops are literally throwing their weight around - and they are doing it with money. The LSP issue is an excellent case in point.
  19. Bluebird
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    Bluebird - October 28, 2012 8:07 pm
    As a former Winona resident, and a former paper carrier for the Winona Daily News, I want to say I am very proud of you, WDN, for this well-written and courageous editorial.

    Dear people of Winona, especially those of you who are Catholic, like me, I know that you are under intense pressure from your bishop to vote "yes" on this amendment. But please remember that the primacy of your individual conscience can properly override the encouragements of your bishop, or indeed of the Pope. I would like to share with you an exact quote from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (presently Pope Benedict XVI). Regarding the primacy of conscience, he said, "Over the pope as the expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority there still stands one's own conscience, which must be obeyed before all else, if necessary even against the requirement of ecclesiastical authority."
  20. JustMe
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    JustMe - October 28, 2012 6:41 pm
    If marriage were not just between a man and a woman, does that mean every time I say I'm married I will have to explain who that's too? It seems that that is not asking for equality, but for the majority to change. I don't care if people are GLBT or not, but I am not ready to explain it to my little kids. I can't let them watch TV other than cartoons because I don't know if they will show GLBT people kissing. Not that I want them seeing anyone kissing a lot, but I don't think I need to be shamed because I don't want my children to see that. I think GLBT should have all the same rights as married people, just call it something else. Choose to make something that is special and unique instead of hijacking the term marriage. It's like saying my favorite candy is Twix and then saying from now on all candy should be called Twix. Does that make any sense? No! And shame on this paper for being bullies to people who disagree.
  21. justareader
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    justareader - October 28, 2012 6:16 pm
    I think that if the SS amendment passes, it won't be long until it is taught in public schools that this is normal, and, with certain advocates, a preferable arrangement. Can't happen?
    Look at the over the top teachers promoting President Obama in song and discussion. I have no doubt that the GLBT crowd will insist that Heather has Two Mommies be mandatory instruction. I don't care what the 50 year old gay couple down the street does. I do care what my grandchildren are exposed to. When they are old enough to make there own decision on their sexuality, I will love them whatever they decide.
    Please don't insult my intelligence, or your own, saying this can't happen.
  22. Liz
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    Liz - October 28, 2012 3:50 pm
    Because I'm Christian and believe what's taught in the Bible and disagree with the newspaper that makes me a bigot? I assure you that I'm NOT heading into the closet!
  23. Oracle
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    Oracle - October 28, 2012 2:50 pm
    Whenever the words bible, god, commandment, bishop, priest, minister, mullah, shaman, medicine man, witch doctor or similar references to any religion enter into a discussion of secular legislation or constitutional enactment, the process of true democracy is corrupted almost beyond retrieval. We are witnessing the regrettable results right here in this forum.
  24. Mike Steber Winona
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    Mike Steber Winona - October 28, 2012 2:50 pm
    Adhered to by Catholics; and that should be the extent of his authority.
  25. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 28, 2012 11:52 am
    KatieB,
    since the Mormons had their polygamy "rights" taken away, are they 2nd class citizens? So this removal of marriage "rights" has already been set.

    As far as the Archbishop "throwing his weight around", it would be more correctly be, doing his job. That is, making sure the tenets, or beliefs of the Church, are adhered to.
  26. Monteee
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    Monteee - October 28, 2012 10:48 am
    Well said, Katie.

    Since when do we amend our constitution to DENY equal rights to our fellow citizens? Since when do we take a religious doctrine and legally force it upon everyone - even those who are not of the same religion?

    We will NOT have a theocracy in this state or country. We the Good People will see to that.....
  27. KatieB
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    KatieB - October 28, 2012 10:18 am
    That's not a conflict between same-sex marriage and religious freedom; it's a conflict between religious authorities and the rights of American citizens. Catholic Charities, you'll notice, was perfectly willing to play ball with state legal requirements before the archbishop threw his weight around.

    It is not - can not be - a religious freedom to treat others as second-class citizens simply because you "disagree" with their lives.
  28. KatieB
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    KatieB - October 28, 2012 10:14 am
    As a former Winona resident I'm pleased to see the Daily News take this position - consistent with both other Minnesota papers and with ethics. NO ONE has been able to articulate why this amendment is necessary or even desirable for a civil, secular society, especially one in which there are numerous citizens for whom same-sex marriage prohibitions are an infringement upon their own religious freedom. Even the claim that the amendment is necessary to prevent the courts from deciding the situation does not pass muster - the courts can only rule on cases that have been brought by citizens because they are facing injustice. The real purpose of this amendment is to fix in the constitution an idea against which the tide of public opinion is turning.
  29. Khansky
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    Khansky - October 28, 2012 9:14 am
    Seems if the WDN is so tired, why bother posting on the subject.

    However for those awake, here is a interesting take on the conflict of SS marriage & religious freedom, that has some interesting points to consider..

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/012/191kgwgh.asp

    And right now MN is in the middle of it.
  30. Monteee
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    Monteee - October 28, 2012 8:03 am
    PBR, the supporters of the amendment are "bad" for a very good reason. They are attempting to deny equal rights to a specific group of citizens, and they are doing so for no valid reason. Time and time again, supporters of the amendment have failed to prove that gay marriage harms any other marriage, anyone or anything. This amendment is based solely on fear and superstition. It's not based on reason or logic.

    I challenge you to prove how that 50-year old gay couple down the street is a "threat" to your marriage, or to my marriage, or to society in general. If those two women love other and want to get married, then so what?

    Another mistake that supporters of the amendment are making is equating "marriage" with "making babies". No one is required to marry to make babies, and no married couple is required to make babies. Marriage is about the RELATIONSHIP. Whether or not the couple wishes to make babies, or adopt babies, or buy a puppy is completely up to them.
  31. PBR Streetgang
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    PBR Streetgang - October 28, 2012 7:36 am
    I appose the marriage amendment and will be voting against it. With that said, I totally accept those who think marriage should be a man and a woman. Everyone must vote their conscience on this one. Neither side is "bad", as some on this board try to paint their neighbors as being.
  32. Monteee
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    Monteee - October 28, 2012 7:35 am
    The purpose of the state constitution (as well as the U.S. Constitution) is to define and limit the powers of the GOVERNMENT.....and not to limit or deny rights to the People. This is a fundamental truth that homophobes and ignorant bigots are denying.

    This amendment is nothing more than a cruel attempt to create second-class citizens (gay people), to keep them subordinant, separated, segregated, and shunned from the majority. If this amendment passes, then what is to stop the self-righteous homophobic crusade from creating a system of apartheid, in which gay people are locked in ghettos at night, or enforcing "conversion-therapy" onto gay people? The cruel, un-American possibilities are endless.....
  33. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 28, 2012 7:05 am
    I would ask JamesFrancis, where does Jesus LIMIT marriage as being between one man and one women? His "definition" is not a limitation.

    When I "define" a Ford Escape as being a hybrid SUV, I am not saying that all Fords must be Escapes.

    And please note - Jesus did not even use the word "marriage."
  34. Leslie Hittner
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    Leslie Hittner - October 28, 2012 6:57 am
    So? JamesFrancis too, wishes to hide his bigotry behind a cherry-picked Bible phrase. The form of marriage that Jesus is referring to will remain safe and secure - inside the doors of Christian churches. What is being discussed is the civil marriage contract, not the Sacrament of Matrimony.

    The word "marriage" has not been copywrited. It is in the public domain to be used freely by any two people wishing to enter into such a civil contract. That freedom must not be restricted in the constitution.

    Simply put, we cannot let narrow religiously-driven bigotry determine the direction of our society
  35. MaCat
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    MaCat - October 28, 2012 6:22 am
    You have the right to your religion and to your views. You DO NOT have the right to impose them on me in this USA or to put them in a State's Constitution. I do not want to live in a State run by the Taliban and I don't want to live in a State run by you. Different religions; same outcome.
  36. JamesFrancis
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    JamesFrancis - October 28, 2012 1:28 am
    For Minnesotans who wonder what Jesus taught about marriage, see the passage below from Matthew 19:3-6. Jesus expands his answer to a question about divorce to teach about marriage and states three important principles that Minnesotans should consider:

    1. God created man and woman (i.e. two sexes) for a purpose (which Jesus proceeds to explain).
    2. A man will be united to his wife -- a woman, not another man.
    3 God has "joined together" the man and woman -- i.e. marriage is a Divine not a man-made institution.

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”.
    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”.
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