Following the narrow defeat of the Marriage Amendment last November, efforts to overturn existing marriage law in Minnesota and to legalize samesex marriage here have resumed with greater vigor.
Unlike the Amendment efforts, which gave each voter a direct voice, and which some opposed because they did not believe the State Constitution was the place for this decision, the future of marriage law in Minnesota is now in the hands of the State Legislature. Since lawmakers might forever change how marriage is understood in Minnesota, this is a critical time to contact your legislators and urge them to vote “No” on redefining marriage in our state.
As the recent U.S. Supreme Court hearings have demonstrated once more, Minnesota is far from alone in being deeply divided on fundamental questions. Yet marriage between one woman and one man remains essential to our social fabric, for today and for our future generations. True, the conversation about marriage is predictably difficult; but this very difficulty reflects the reality that truly central human goods are at stake.
By its very nature, the institution of marriage is rooted in the sexual difference of spouses with the inherent natural capacity to bring forth and care for children, co-created with God through their love. The role of lawmakers is not to change the definition of marriage in response to today’s social trends, but to protect and foster marriage between man and woman as it has been known across times and cultures.
While no Supreme Court ruling on marriage is expected until late June, the redefining of marriage in Minnesota law is on a much faster track.
Legislation to change the definition of marriage in Minnesota has already passed through committee hearings in both the Minnesota House and Senate. Both chambers could vote to make such a change to marriage any day. Governor Dayton has promised to sign this legislation if it reaches his desk.
Because marriage is so deeply interwoven in our social fabric, a decision to redefine marriage would not be an isolated action. Rather, it would trigger a cascade of changes in literally hundreds of other laws. The time and resources of lawmakers would be distracted for years to come in addressing the implications of such a radical innovation.
Your support vital — and easy
This is a decisive moment for the future of marriage. It is crucial that support for traditional marriage be communicated to lawmakers. I ask you to join me in sending this message, respectfully but also loud and clear.
The Minnesota Catholic Conference has made it easy for you quickly to send an email to the legislators who represent you and make your voice heard. Tell our lawmakers not to change the legal definition of marriage in Minnesota.
Go to www.mncc.org, click on the MN Catholic Advocacy Network icon in the right corner, then click on the link that says “Tell lawmakers not to mess with marriage in Minnesota!” under the Advocacy tab. Here you’ll find your legislators’ contact information and an email form that quickly sends a message to all of them with a simple click of the button!
+John F. Kinney
Bishop of Saint Cloud