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The Debate Over Marriage Amendment Heats Up

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Reg Chapman joined WCCO-TV in May of 2009. He came to WCCO fr...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The debate over a proposed marriage amendment, which would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, is heating up.

A statement issued by the Minnesota Rabbinical Association says it cannot condone using the constitution to deny civil rights. The group is made up of 35 rabbis and 15 synagogues and it represents the majority of the state’s Jewish population.

They signed a statement urging Minnesotans to vote against the change to the state constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Orthodox rabbis did not sign the statement.

Elizabeth Glidden, a Minneapolis city councilwoman, said the conversation around the proposed amendment is very painful.

“It’s a very divisive thing to do,” she said.

Glidden does most of the lobbying for the council at the Capitol. She made the motion that lead to the position the council now stands by – it, too, wants no part in the amendment.

“This is something that we are 100 percent unified on,” she said. “We feel very strongly that this is a wrong way to govern. What I encourage people to do is: we have to be able to separate our personal beliefs and our faith from how the law operates and how our constitution operates.”

Groups like Minnesota for Marriage disagree.

Chuck Darrell, director of communications for the group, says the city council’s action won’t sway a single person.

In a statement, Darrell said, “The people of Minnesota don’t want a bunch of ambitious politicians to tell them how to vote on the core institution of civilization– marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”

Darrell said the group’s polls show 60 percent of Minnesota voters support the legislature giving them the right to vote on the definition of marriage.

Gov. Dayton has said he thinks Minnesota will be the first state to reject such a ballot question. He said the state appreciates individual differences.

The amendment initiative is slated to be on the ballot on Nov. 6.

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