As leaders of law firms, we write in our individual capacities to express our personal opposition to the Minnesota marriage amendment that will be on the ballot this fall.

The marriage amendment would embed in the Minnesota Constitution a definition of marriage as being solely between one man and one woman. In so doing, it strives to prevent future judicial or legislative action that could allow our gay and lesbian citizens to marry and enjoy a right that is available to all others.

As a number of our state's corporate leaders have noted, the marriage amendment endangers our business climate, signaling that ours is a community that does not welcome members of the LGBT community. This directly impacts Minnesota businesses, including law firms, which are dependent on attracting and retaining the best and brightest talent, regardless of sexual orientation.

As lawyers, we also believe that this issue is more important than just its impact to the business climate. The amendment uses the ballot to restrict the rights of our fellow citizens, and to embed those restrictions in our state Constitution. Simply put, it is a bad precedent to use the Constitution to deny the civil liberties of a few.

We will be voting "no" on the marriage amendment and encourage our fellow members of the bar to join us.

-Gregory P. Bulinski; Chief executive officer, Bassford Remele, P.A.

-Doug Holod; governance committee chair, Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand, LLP

-Andrew G. Humphrey; managing partner, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP

-Brad Keil; managing partner, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP

-John Koneck; president, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

-Dennis M. O'Malley; managing partner, Lindquist & Vennum PLLP

-Steven A. Schumeister; managing partner, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P.