MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The marriage amendment, which seeks to define marriage as between one man and one woman, goes before voters in November.
WCCO Radio’s Susie Jones talked with families on both sides of the issues.
Dave Johnson loves to spend time picking tomatoes in the garden with his daughters, 5-year-old Clara and 3-year-old Joanna. He and his wife, Aleta, have been married nine years and believe strongly in marriage as between one man and one woman.
“We think this is what the majority of families need and want, and we want to solidify this into the constitution,” Johnson said. “We have seen activist judges in other states try to change the law.”
In Minnesota, same sex marriage is already illegal, and the constitutional amendment, if it passes, would solidify that.
Professor Teresa Collett is with the University of St. Thomas’ law school.
“What it will do is preclude the judges in Minnesota, based on a case that’s currently in the courts, to redefine marriage, and it will also preclude politicians from doing it, outside of consultation with the people,” Collett said.
Professor Dale Carpenter is with the University of Minnesota law school.
“If the amendment fails there’s no same sex marriage,” he said. “If the amendment passes, there’s no same sex marriage.”
Carpenter says there are about 515 legal rights given to heterosexual couples, which he believes should also be afforded same sex couples, such as when someone is sick in the hospital and only family is allowed.
“Family members are people in your immediate family. Your children and your spouse. And if you can’t be married you’re not a spouse,” he said.
Collett disagrees, and says there are protections in place.
“Federal law right now requires that hospitals grant access to loved ones of the patient and the penalty is loss of Medicare and Medicaid funding,” she said.
If the amendment passes, it will become part of the state constitution, and Carpenter says efforts will begin immediately to repeal it.