A matter of semantics, or so much more?
Many, including me, support a legal union between same-sex partners that offers all the legal, economic and social advantages (and disadvantages) of marriage. But that union cannot be called “marriage.” That word is already taken — it has a well-established definition.
Why, you may ask, am I hung up on semantics? Well, because the primary functions of language are to define, differentiate, and share ideas. To add same-sex unions to the traditional definition of marriage is like legislation stating that from this point forward rivers will be included in the definition of lakes; after all, they’re both bodies of water. In doing so, language is compromised.
To use a term other than marriage for same-sex unions does not imply a lesser relationship; it can be an institution of pride. Same-sex unions — you have my full support. Marriage is a union between a man and a woman.
C.K. McCracken, Anoka
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The problem I see with this “solution” is twofold. First, “separate but equal” is unconstitutional. Second, it creates a huge problem state to state. Minnesota laws would not necessarily be recognized by other states. In addition, at least 515 state laws would have to be amended to accommodate the term “civil union.” The proposed new law simply changes the term “marriage” from “a man and a woman’ to “two persons.”
True marriage equality is the only reasonable answer.
R.C. Bible, Apple Valley
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A March 10 letter writer speculates that those in favor of traditional marriage would also be against interracial marriage and the Civil Rights Act. It is unfortunate that he was not at the Minnesota for Marriage rally at the State Capitol on March 7, as I was.
There, he would have observed more than 1,000 people, among them Asian-Americans, African-Americans, a Somali-American Muslim imam, an African-American Democratic pastor, and at least one interracial family (mine), all standing for marriage between one man and one woman.
A lifestyle choice that violates moral convictions is not similar to a racial civil-rights issue. We do not operate from “prejudice and misinformation.” Rather, we are quite well-informed and interested in having our First Amendment right to freedom of religion maintained, and in promoting a society that is best for children.
As for Steve Sack’s March 10 cartoon: Those who support traditional marriage in Minnesota ARE being attacked, but we have not dug foxholes piled with sandbags. Perhaps the cartoonist needs to be reminded that we are a majority in this state, and elsewhere. Many of us hold deep moral and religious convictions and refuse to be trampled upon by pressure from other states, other countries, and cartoonists.
Donna Ferber, Cambridge
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The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.