After a vigorous debate, a direction is decided
It is said that politics is the exercise of power, and sometimes that is all it is. But at its best, politics is the exercise of the power of persuasion.
I remember the debate in 2011 when the Minnesota Senate voted to put the anti-gay-marriage constitutional amendment on the ballot. Except for the proposal’s floor manager, I don’t remember a single proponent explaining why it was good public policy. Why should they? It was a done deal; they had the votes and didn’t see any need to persuade their colleagues or the people. Largely as a result of their failure to advance a persuasive argument, the people of Minnesota rejected their proposed amendment by a surprisingly large margin.
Contrast that exercise of raw power to the vigorous debate of the marriage equality board in the House and Senate in 2013: Though the result of the votes was just as certain before the debate started as it was in 2011, the proponents of marriage equality continued the conversation with the people of Minnesota, explaining why legally recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples is the right, just and constitutional thing to do. The opponents similarly argued their point.
I am proud that Minnesota is adopting marriage equality in the political process, after a full and fair debate, and that the process has respected the intelligence and dignity, and inherent worth of every Minnesotan.
Paul Landskroener, Minneapolis
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Our state and our elected representatives will never look more foolish than the day we tried to correct God’s definition of marriage.
Maurice Russell, Echo, Minn.
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We love our children, friends, neighbors, relatives and coworkers. This is not an excuse to accept their unnatural and destructive choice for same-sex marriage. Proclaiming acceptance of same-sex marriage unions as a loving, positive choice for the building-up of a strong society is against the natural and spiritual order of humanity. You can deceive yourself with positive affirmations for your behavior, but time will tell the ultimate truth. We are all going to have to endure the results of creating laws to support aberrant life choices.
Kathleen Hoffman, Minneapolis
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As I watched the live feed from the State Capitol before the Senate vote on Monday, I looked at the faces in the crowd. People of every color and nationality were standing together for a cause. If they weren’t carrying signs or wearing specific T-shirts, I’d have had no idea on which side of the issue they stood. I watched as people began to sing and saw a women holding a “one man-one woman” sign reach across to someone holding an “equality in marriage” sign. They held hands and joined in the singing. Our son and his partner of 12 years were somewhere in that crowd. They, too, want to have the right to marry.
This nation needs to come together as one. That is what I saw Monday. We need to follow the lead of that one woman, reaching out across the aisle, to join hands and heart together for one cause. That’s what Jesus would do!
Sandi Tundel, Eden Prairie
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